Qatari organizing committee is set to make final decision about how many stadiums it will use in hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Spokesman for the organising committee disclosed that the decision would be made before the end of the year as it awaits final nod to stage the epic football fiesta for the first time in Gulf region. “The final number of stadiums is still to be confirmed, but it is expected a decision will be reached towards the end of 2015,” the statement from the Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, which is responsible for the delivery of all tournament-related infrastructure, read.
Corruption allegations at FIFA have put renewed media focus on Qatar, although Qatari officials remain confident the tournament will go ahead as planned and development of the country’s stadium infrastructure continues.
The country is set to spend more than $200 billion on infrastructure as part of a 2030 development plan, a timeframe that includes hosting the World Cup in November-December 2022. The Supreme Committee declined to estimate the total cost of stadium construction and renovation. “Due to the stadiums currently going through the tender process, we are not in a position to release any further budgetary figures at this stage,” the spokesman added.
The country has announced details for using only five stadiums, although its bid included plans for 12 stadiums, albeit it is obliged to use at least eight.
The five stadiums announced are a mixture of new builds and rebuilds of existing grounds. Four – Al Rayyan, Khalifa International, Qatar Foundation and Al Wakrah stadiums – will have tournament capacities of 40,000 and will be used for matches up to and including the quarterfinal stage of the World Cup.
The fifth, Al Bayt Stadium, will hold 60 000 spectators and will host at least one semi-final. The organisers have yet to reveal plans for the stadium that will stage the tournament final.
To date, main contractors have been appointed for two venues. A joint venture between local firm Midmac Contracting and Dubai’s Six Construct won the contract for Khalifa International.
Another joint venture comprising Qatar’s Galfar Al Misnad and Italian duo Salini Impregilo and Cimolai was given responsibility for Al Bayt Stadium.
At about 11 600 square kilometres, Qatar will be the smallest country to host the World Cup. Most of its surface area is uninhabited desert, with the sprawling capital Doha home to much of its population.
Consequently, fans from the 32 competing nations will be staying within a relatively small area, which may give tournament organisers security and logistical headaches.
By Olisemeka Obeche