DOHA: Qatar is working towards a tight World Cup finals in 2022 with the minimum possible eight stadia.
The Gulf state, like any host, could utilise up to 12 stadia for the tournament but Hassan Al-Thawadi, secretary-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, has set out the practical option.
Al-Thawadi, according to the local newspaper Al-Sharq, said: “We are confident that we will not be asked [by FIFA] to implement 12 stadiums. We feel that eight is enough for Qatar.”
A budget of $10bn has been set aside for venue construction, with work under way already at five stadia: Al Rayyan, Khalifa International, Al Wakrah, Al Bayt Al Khor and Qatar Foundation. Work is still to start on Lusail – which will host the final – Ras Abu Aboud and Al Thumama.
Eight stadia would represent the least number of venues for the tournament since Argentina played host in 1978 when the finals comprised 16 nations rather than the present 32.
Twelve venues were used for Brazil’s staging of the 2014 World Cup, while the same number will be utilised for Russia’s event in 2018. The central difference between these countries and Qatar is the contrasting size of the states.