KEIR RADNEDGE in DUBAI: While the rest of football wonders and worries the timing of the 2022 World Cup, hosts Qatar are pressing on with preparations.
The venue and construction schedule for the first stadium is expected to be unveiled in an announcement ceremony planned for mid-November.
Initially Qatar had projected providing 12 stadia for the finals, nine new and three redeveloped. All should be air-cooled in line with the promise of technological support to ease the stress of searing summer temperatures.
The launch, during the Aspire4Sport conference, is expected to be attended by a number of senior organising, design and construction executives including representatives of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee and Zaha Hadid Architects.
Last May speculation arose that rising costs might lead to Qatar reducing the stadia number.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch issued a note to investors following meetings with the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee stating that organisers were negotiating with FIFA to cut the number of venues to eight or nine.
FIFA requires a minimum of eight stadia to host its showpiece tournament.
Secretary-general Jerome Valcke commented at the time that he expected the finals to be played in “between eight to 10” stadia. He did not see “the interest for Qatar to have 12” given the country’s size.
Qatar expected to spend $65bn on developing the infrastructure needed to host the World Cup with this figure including stadia as well as wider development, including accommodation and a $25bn rail and metro network.
However, Alberto Ades, head of emerging-market fixed-income strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, estimated costs as likely to exceed its initial estimate of $95bn.