By Andy Sambidge
Senior official says stadium will be fitted with cooling system, eyes another major tournament
Qatar will complete the construction of its first World Cup 2022 stadium in 2015, a senior official announced on Monday.
Hassan Al Thawadi, Qatar's 2022 World Cup Committee's secretary general, said the first of 12 stadia planned for the tournament would include a state-of-the-art cooling system to combat the impact of the summer heat for players and fans.
"We are in the process of finalising development plans to host the World Cup in 2022 and we are looking to complete the first stadium with cooling system technology by 2015," he said in comments published by the state-run Qatar News Agency.
Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup last December. It has attempted to counter concerns about the summer heat by promising that all the stadiums will be air conditioned.
He also said that Qatar was looking to "assign programme management" for the World Cup event by the end of this year with project planning starting in earnest in the first quarter of next year.
He said that the Gulf nation intends to hold another "major tournament" by 2020, as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup.
"Our intention is to host a major football tournament by 2020 as a first dress rehearsal. We can then host the Confederation's Cup in 2021 so by 2022 we would be ready the big one," he added.
He reiterated Qatar's commitment to stage a carbon neutral World Cup by using the latest environment friendly energy sources such as solar energy.
He added that the event would "spur economic development here...as well as give opportunities to engage small and medium enterprises".
"We see 2022 World Cup project as a great opportunity for development," Al Thawadi told QNA.
Fears that Qatar might lose the World Cup 2022 amid allegations of bribery were dismissed last month by FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
At a press conference in Zurich, Blatter said FIFA's executive committee had received no further evidence on claims Qatar had paid bribes to members to secure the World Cup.
As a result, he said there was no reason to prompt a formal investigation into allegations from a whistleblower that Qatar had paid FIFA members Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma $1.5m each to secure their vote.
"The World Cup 2022 is not touched," he said. "I believe that the decision we took for the 2022 World Cup was done exactly in the same pattern and environment as the 2018 World Cup and there was no problem for FIFA to act in this direction."For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Qatar not only deserve to host 2022 but it actually earned it. The bid was absolutely amazing and it captured the the minds and hearts of all football fans across the world making it the best bid ever. The bid showed the country's determination and commitment to the game and to world peace and prosperity which this region (middle east) is really eager to have. The vision, guidance and support of His Highness The Amir of The State of Qatar made this dream to become reality.
Abdulla Ahmed Aljufairi
I was telling earlier that it is nothing but out of jealousy the Europeans & US tried to pull legs of Qatar as well as want to break the Mideast solidarity. Nonsense allegation, which is meaningless! Actually Europeans & america became beggars & when they find the emerging countries economy is flourishing & future of Western nations are big, naturally jealousy coming to their minds.
The stadium design looks good and the early tournament launch makes sound sense too. Qatar also appears to be investing in club football around europe, from shirt sponsorship at Barcelona to taking a stake in Paris St. Germain.
However, declining to investigate even a hint of corruption at world football level does not endear the sponsors and flies in the face of what happens at country football association level. I would cite the Serie A match fixing scandal in Italy a few years ago as a prime example which demoted top clubs by 2 divisions in some cases. A governing body's duty is to receive the evidence in full and take matters forward.
This is not about Qatar it's a morals and ethics issue which applies to any level of a sport or any sport. Remember, a certain world number one golfer who was stripped of multiple sponsorships as a result of an exposed extra-marital affair, nobody can tell me that an accusation like that outranks alleged bribery. Set an example to the young please!
Judging by the reaction it seems it did not capture the hearts and minds of a quiet significant groups of football fans.
Looking at the way that Qatar is proceeding with construction works, I seriously doubt whether they can finish the construction of the first stadium by that time. As of today the pace of construction is very very slow and even there have been lay offs in major companies which is partly due to the "arab awakening" & the remaining due to some reasons not clearly known to the public.
Is this the same Abdulla Al-Jufairi wanted as a fugitive for defrauding banks in the United States and Qatar?