ZURICH: FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke has stated Qatar can host the 2022 World Cup in as few as eight stadiums, despite it presenting the required 12-venue proposal during the bidding process.

Valcke’s comments come after Bank of America Merrill Lynch last month said that rising costs may lead to Qatar reducing the number of stadiums it plans to develop for the World Cup.

The US bank 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 from the original 12 to eight or nine.

As part of its bid to host the World Cup, Qatar pledged to build nine new stadiums and refurbish three others, all in the space of 10 years. FIFA requires a minimum of eight stadia to host its showpiece tournament.

Valcke told the Associated Press that he expects the 2022 World Cup will be played in “between eight to 10” stadia, adding that ongoing talks with Qatar “will be pragmatic and we will find the right number.”

The Frenchman added did not see “the interest for Qatar to have 12” given the country’s size.

Qatar has agreed to spend as much as US$65bn on developing the infrastructure needed to host the World Cup, with this figure including stadia as well as massive investment in wider development, including accommodation and a $25bn rail and metro network.

However, in the note Alberto Ades, head of emerging-market fixed-income strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said costs are likely to exceed the bank’s initial estimate of $95 billion.


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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

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