World Cup plans remain in place for Qatar

12 September 2013

The projects in Qatar’s 2022 World Cup plans are also part of its 2030 Vision, meaning they will be built even if it is not able to host the event

If Qatar wanted to host football’s 2022 World Cup to raise its profile then its effort has already been a success as the news concerning the tournament’s timing has captivated the global media.

For the past three months, there has been a stream of reports from around the world quoting leading football figures saying that hosting the World Cup in the heat of the country’s summer would be impossible.

Much of the media coverage has not been favourable for Qatar, and in early September, Fifa president Sepp Blatter was reported to have said awarding Qatar the World Cup was a mistake.

Blatter, the head of football’s world governing body, has since denied he said that. He says he meant hosting the tournament in the summer would be a mistake, and he will bring up the issue at Fifa’s next executive committee meeting in early October. The expectation is that the issue will continue to rumble on even after that meeting.

The problem is clearly Fifa’s and they, not Qatar, will have to try to sort it out in early October

If the eventual outcome is moving the tournament to the winter, then Qatar will not be concerned, as it will ultimately make visiting the country a more pleasurable experience for the legions of football fans that will descend on the country in 2022. What will be more of a concern is a push to rebid the hosting of the tournament, a process that could result in the Gulf state losing the event.

While that would remove a key milestone for many of the projects currently being developed in and around Doha, it will not cancel the need for them altogether as they still form part of Qatar’s 2030 Vision.

It is for this reason that many in the country do not see the current speculation about the World Cup as a major concern. The problem is clearly Fifa’s and they, not Qatar, will have to try to sort it out in early October.

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