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Tue 20 May 2014 11:49 AM

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First Qatar World Cup stadium hits phase two

Qatar awards contract for Al Wakrah stadium to local firm HBK

First Qatar World Cup stadium hits phase two

Work on Qatar’s first World Cup stadium has taken a step forward with the announcement the Al Wakrah stadium project is now in its second phase, it was reported.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) said local firm HBK contracting had been awarded the construction tender following bids by a number of local firms.

The company had begun major excavation in preparation for foundations being laid in September, with the latest phase of construction scheduled to finish around March 2015, with stadium completion expected in 2018, Gulf Times reported.

Earlier this week the head of Qatar’s World Cup delivery committee has claimed “there has not been a single injury or death on the World Cup projects”, saying “it’s not possible to have 400 deaths when you are still digging a hole in the ground”.

It followed calls led by Amnesty International for improved workers’ conditions in Qatar after a report in Britain’s The Guardian newspaper in September found that dozens of Nepali construction workers had died and that labourers were not given enough food and water.

Currently one World Cup stadium is under construction with five to get under way by the end of this year, Nasser al Khater, the executive director of communications and marketing at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said. However, a definite decision on cutting the number of stadiums to eight would be made next year.

The SC said in a statement that welfare standards were embedded in the HBK contract.

“These standards  - which are aligned with Qatari Labour Law and international best practice and have been incorporated in all contracts  - set clear guidelines that protect the rights of workers throughout the entire chain of contracting, from recruitment to repatriation,” it said.

The 40,000-seater New Al Wakrah Stadium, future home of Al Wakrah Sports Club, was the first of Qatar’s FIFA World Cup proposed host venues to be revealed. The stadium will be surrounded by a 560,000sqm  precinct with a new sports centre and community hub.

The precinct will include a range of community facilities, including a park, mosque, school, hotel, wedding hall, vocational training centre and retail outlets.

After the tournament, the stadium’s capacity will be reduced to 20,000 with the extra modular seats removed, re-configured and donated to countries in need of sporting infrastructure.

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