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Qatar drops number of 2022 World Cup stadiums by four

Apr 21, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT

Qatar 2022

What’s four stadiums amongst friends?

Qatar has announced that it will be dropping its projected number of stadiums for the 2022 World Cup from 12 to 8, the latest in a long series of decisions that have some soccer fans shaking their heads.

Brazil is scheduled to use 12 this summer and Germany used the same figure in 2006, though only 10 South African venues hosted matches in 2010.

According to a Bloomberg report, Ghanim Al Kuwari, the Qatar organizing committee’s senior manager for projects, announced the downgrade today without giving a reason. 

From Bloomberg:

Qatar, which holds the world’s third-largest natural-gas reserves, plans to spend more than $200 billion on new infrastructure before hosting the sporting event, including $34 billion on a rail and metro system, $7 billion on a port and $17 billion on an airport. The stadiums 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. “It does always make good sense to do necessary cost-cutting and reviews of capex for such huge projects that are front-loaded.”

MLSSoccer.com reports that the last time a World Cup was played at eight or less venues was in Argentina for the 1978 tournament.

Critics of the tournament in Qatar have included MLS commissioner Don Garber amongst others. And there have been seemingly myriad accusations of bribery and other fiscal foul play regarding the tournament being given to the oil-rich nation in the first place. All that without mentioning the stories of awful employee conditions and deaths in construction. When headlines include “4000 migrant workers could be worked to death,” well…

  1. seanb20124 - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Move it to USA or UK would ya

  2. maverickstar - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    They can’t afford to build them because they spent all that money buying their vote.

    This is getting ridiculous. In my industry, when someone makes a bid for a contract and after they are awarded the contract they have to live up to the contract. They can’t go changing the scope of the deal without risk of having the contract voided and awarded to someone else. Of course a little corruption and back door dealing can probably solve that.

    • drewvt6 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      I dunno I’ve seen rich clients drop million dollar change orders like you wouldn’t believe. The meeting goes like this, “Hey Sepp we brought you $4million cash in those suitcases. We’re going to use 4 less stadiums, ok? Thanks! We knew you’d approve.”

      • maverickstar - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        Well you do have a point. I’m in the surveying/civil engineering field. In the real world, a case like this where the contractor is unable or unwilling to deliver what they agreed to deliver they lost that contract, have to deal with the financial losses themselves, and somebody else gets awarded the contract. But like you said, the suitcases of money work wonders.

  3. thedeadlockvictim - Apr 21, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    England and the US should put in a joint bid to replace them (or perhaps even Russia in 2018). Half the groups and knockouts in each country, final at Wembley.

  4. hightopandrocket - Apr 21, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    No way should fascist Putin host the World Cup!

  5. slc1997 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    What’s great is that they awarded the tournament so far in advance that there is time to award it to another country and still have a decent amount of time to prepare.

  6. kurgen99 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:17 AM

    This has gone far enough!! Can we forget this corrupt farce already? Even if they build 100 stadiums, no on is going to Qatar in the middle of the summer!

  7. scrummymustard - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    There is plenty of time to move it.

    Heck the womens world cup in 2003 was moved 4 months before it started to the USA.

    The US has the stadium capacity to prepare and hold a world cup within a year. There is zero reason why this world cup should still be held in Qatar.

    It was a failure from the get go.

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