POSTED: April 22nd 2014

Costs cut Qatar's 2022 World Cup stadia plans

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Bloomberg News reports that Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup held a promise of 12 stadia in what would be the smallest country to host the world’s most-watched sporting event. Sunday, Qatar 2022 Organising Committee Senior Manager for Projects Ghanim Al Kuwari announced a change in Qatar’s plans, which will see the World Cup played in eight venues, the minimum number in FIFA’s hosting standards.

“As is the case with any FIFA World Cup, once a country is chosen as host, a review of the bid plans is made with the organisers to propose the final host cities and stadia projects, which then need to be approved by the FIFA Executive Committee,” a statement to Bloomberg from Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said. “The requirement is a minimum of eight and a maximum of 12 stadia.”

Qatar’s budget for new infrastructure ahead of 2022 is over $200 billion, including $34 billion on a rail and metro system, $7 billion on a port, and $17 billion on an airport. Venue costs only account for $4 billion in that budget, but costs could rise with delays relating to construction, including the assembly of the new airport, which is six years behind schedule.

Though the country holds the world’s third-largest natural-gas reserves, Al Kuwari did not explain why the cuts were being made.

“Their decision was motivated by cost-cutting following an assessment of the real needs on the ground,” MASIC Chief Investment Strategist John Sfakianakis told Bloomberg in an email. “It does always smake good sense to do necessary cost-cutting and reviews of capex for such huge projects that are front-loaded.”

There was a 1.4-percent decrease in Qatar’s surplus for 2014-15 and a 17-percent rise in spending on “key projects,” Qatar News Agency reported in March. Inflation rates are set to rise, as well, from 2.6 percent to 3.8 percent.

Each of the eight venues will have air conditioning due to the high temperatures in the region during the summer months of the World Cup, though FIFA President Sepp Blatter mentioned the tournament could be moved to the wintry months of November and December to ensure the safest environment for players. Al Kuwari said 92 training sites would be built for teams.

Al Wakrah stadium is currently under construction, while Al Rayyan stadium will break ground later this year or in early 2015, Al Kuwari said. 

Keywords · Qatar · FIFA · FIFA World Cup · World Cup · Qatar 2022 · Sepp Blatter ·

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