DOHA: Ground has been broken on the Al Wakrah site which is the first of Qatar’s proposed venues to stage the controversial 2022 World Cup finals.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy described the latest step on the 2022 journey as the “second phase of construction” at Al Wakrah by HBK which won a tender process,

Foundations are due to be laid in September with the latest phase of construction scheduled to finish around March 2015, with stadium completion expected in 2018. The early works at Al Wakrah were carried out by AMANA. Foundation work by HBK will be marked by a ceremony in September, followed by the announcement of the main construction company at the end of the year.

Confusion has reigned in the media over the conditions and laws for construction workers in Qatar. Human rights and international labour organisers have pointed up the number of deaths among immigrant workers to press world federation  FIFA to insist clear guidelines for employees’ rights.

The number of stadia for Qatar 2022 remains uncertain. The bid rules demanded a proposal between 12 and 18. Qatar projected 12 but it seems likely that the number will be reduced to eight next spring.

Community hub

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 560,000 m2 (60-hectare) 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 World Cup 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 in consultation with FIFA and the continental football confederations.

The Supreme Committee insisted: “With the rigorous implementation of the Workers’ Welfare Standards at all stages of construction, the new Al Wakrah Stadium will also contribute to a significant legacy of enhanced workers’ welfare in the country. “