GCC country to build eight stadiums for event after announcing 12 originally
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Qatar has announced that it will reduce the number of stadiums it plans to build for the 2022 FIFA World Cup by a third as rising costs and delays plague the build up to the event.
According to a Bloomberg news report, Ghanim Al Kuwari, the organising committee’s senior manager for projects, said that Qatar plans to build eight stadiums for the games.
The GCC country had originally announced plans for 12 stadiums, including nine new playing fields and three refurbishments. Speaking during a conference in Doha, Al Kuwari did not explain why the number of stadiums had been reduced.
Qatar won the right to host the World Cup in 2010. Since then it has faced mounting criticism from human rights groups and international media over the treatment of its migrant construction workers and high summer temperatures.
The country, which holds the world’s third-largest natural gas reserves, plans to spend more than $200 billion on new infrastructure before hosting the World Cup, which is the most watched international sporting event in the world. This spending includes $34 billion on a rail and metro system, $7 billion on a port and $17 billion on an airport.
The stadiums themselves will cost $4 billion, 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, Saudi Arabia, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg.
“It does always make good sense to do necessary cost-cutting and reviews of capex for such huge projects that are front-loaded.”