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JustHere | December 3, 2016

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Report: Qatar reduces 2022 World Cup stadiums to eight

The stadium count for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar has dropped to just eight. Though officials of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee have not stated any reasons, other sources have suggested “cost-cutting” as the primary factor.

The initial number of stadiums planned was 12, which included nine new stadiums, and three refurbished ones. However, at a press conference, Ghanim Al Kuwari, the organizing committee’s senior manager for projects, announced that eight stadiums would be built for the game, as reported by Bloomberg.

Cost factor

The country will be spending nearly $200 billion on infrastructure works for the sporting event. Stadiums alone cost $4 billion.

The report quoted John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at investment company MASIC in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, saying the decision to reduce the number of stadiums was “motivated by cost-cutting following an assessment of the real needs on the ground”.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s Supreme Committee stated that the minimum requirement for the number of stadiums in the host country is eight, and can exceed up to twelve. It further said that as per FIFA World Cup protocol, “a review of the bid plans by the host country is made with the organizers to propose the final host cities and stadia projects, which then need to be approved by the FIFA Executive Committee”.

Work has already begun on the 40,000-seat Al Wakrah stadium, the design of which is inspired by a dhow. Several of the stadia will be built with modular elements, able to be deconstructed after 2022, to avoid ‘white elephants’. Once deconstructed, a total of 170,000 seats will be donated to the developing world.

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