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Mon 21 Apr 2014 09:44 AM

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Qatar slashes number of World Cup stadiums by third

The 2022 host says it plans to build eight stadiums, not 12, amid rising costs and delays

Qatar slashes number of World Cup stadiums by third

Qatar has slashed the number of stadiums it will build for the World Cup by a third amid rising costs and delays, the Bloomberg news agency reported.

In an apparent confirmation of market speculation that first emerged last year, Ghanim Al Kuwari, the organising committee’s senior manager for projects said on Sunday that Qatar planned to build eight stadiums for the event.

Last April, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note to investors that Qatar was negotiating with FIFA, football’s world governing body, to reduce the number of stadia it builds for the prestigious event.

The country originally announced plans for 12 stadiums, including nine new playing fields and three refurbishments. Al Kuwari didn’t give a reason for the cut, Bloomberg reported.

Qatar has flagged a more than $200bn spend on new infrastructure ahead of the World Cup, including $34bn on a rail and metro system, $7bn on a port and $17bn on an airport. The stadiums will cost $4bn, according to the ministry of business and trade.

“Their decision was motivated by cost-cutting following an assessment of the real needs on the ground,” John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at investment company MASIC in Riyadh, told Bloomberg in an email.

“It does always make good sense to do necessary cost-cutting and reviews of capex for such huge projects that are front loaded.”

Qatar, which has faced delays with the start of work on the metro system and opening of the new airport, recorded a 1.4 percent decrease in its 2014-15 budget surplus compared to the previous year as spending on key projects increased by 17 percent, Qatar News Agency said last month.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch head of emerging market fixed income strategy Alberto Ades said in the note last year that the total cost for infrastructure for the World Cup would likely exceed the bank’s initial estimate of $95bn.

Construction has started on the Wakra stadium, while work on the Al Rayan stadium is set to start later this year, or early in 2015, Al Kuwari said.

Jalal Yousef Salhi, director of infrastructure affairs at the country’s Public Works Authority, said Qatar planned to award $1.7bn of road projects in coming months and will tender 20 others in the next two years, according to Bloomberg.

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Moe 6 years ago

And here comes the first step in the Domino effect!

One Man's Opinion 6 years ago

What? You mean things are getting screwed up?? Why, I'm shocked, SHOCKED!!

Red Snappa 6 years ago

Well taking the new airport as a delivery timeline benchmark it is hardly surprising.

Plus the prospect of a legacy of 12 international standard, air-conditioned sports stadia for a country with a population of just over 2 million is utterly ridiculous.

The average attendance in the English Premier League is 34,000, with teams playing an average of 40 games a season, which equates to approximately 1.36 million football fans passing through the turnstiles in a season per team, out of a total of 20 teams with a top class stadium each.

However, the combined population of England and Wales is roughly 57 million. The heritage usage statistics simply do not stack up.

Mark Stevens 6 years ago

I just get bemused reading such news. First there was the Bribery scandal which convicted and banned two high profile FIFA officials who voted for Qatar. Then came Winter switch, which contradicted their initial proposal plan. Then The Guardian printed a story claiming 1500 labours have died so far building the stadiums. Now this!

How much more OBVIOUS is it going to get?

procan 6 years ago

With world opinion is still growing against the Qatar 2022 bid based on massive corruption and payoffs to a ever growing list of scoundrels .Followed by human rights abuses to third world workers, taking passports from workers and not paying workers or not paying in a timely manner .Restricting workers movements. World Cup should be held in a open, just , environment . The game will not grow here instead will show that it can be bought and pay for by highest bidder no matter who they are, just sayin.

Arjun 6 years ago

I personally want the WC to be staged in the winter...i would love to see a WC in the middle east for many good reasons.
But for some reason AB never wants to publish my comment....OK maybe Qatari's pull it off by constructing 12 stadia.....my question still remains as a question. Infact i asked the locals who say they never thought of it. Well, people not associated will not think but what about people who bid for this from Qatar. My question is simple "What if Israel qualify & would want to get many supporters to the event" ? Nay not yet !!!!

Red Snappa 6 years ago

Good day Telco, trust you're well. You are correct in one sense and I quote from an article published on the BBC in 2010.

"As part of its broader legacy, the Arab state will donate the upper tier of some of its 12 stadiums to developing countries after the tournament.

As the country doesn't need many large, permanent venues, so they would be built with modular upper levels that can be taken down.

These structures would then be sent off overseas, for developing countries."

However, I've not heard anymore on that aspect since then, it was part of their bid however, and as per the commentators there have been a number of changes since then. Whatever, the substance of the quote is that the lower levels of the all stadia built will remain in situ, which would have meant 12 roughly 20 to 25,000-seat structures left behind. Now 8 I assume, the average attendance at Qatar Stars League matches, (there are 12 teams competing) is just over 6,000 possibly less. So it's still way too many.

debbie 6 years ago

expect amazing!