Qatar's ambitious 2022 FIFA World Cup has recently received a rap on its budding expansion projects. The country had earlier made its bid to the FIFA Council for hosting 48 teams on its turf, with an existing approval for 32 teams. However, after a comprehensive analysis, the Council decided to limit the number of teams to 32 itself, considering certain key FIFA requirements.
A leap into the future for Qatar
After winning its shock vote in 2010, Qatar has been vigorously planning and expanding its football prowess and infrastructural capabilities. Its massive budget includes a $200-million infrastructural revamp of the current metro and road system, along with arranging for several high-end accommodations, yachts and cruises for fans and stars who’ll be flying to attend the World Cup.
Laying ground to world-class stadiums
Out of these projects, the most highly anticipated one was the expansion of the Khalifa International Stadium in the Doha Sports City complex which was completed in 2017. Its modern architecture, clubbed well-equipped facilities in one of the prime locations of the country – its very capital, Doha, makes it a favorite destination for the 2022 tournament.
Another stadium which is catching much public attention is Al Bayt, a modern 60,000-seater stadium symbolizing tents, which were the homes of the Qatari many decades ago. This construction is in the dusty district of Al Khor, north of Doha.
Seven other state-of-the-art arenas are being built, with air-cooled interiors and seating capabilities of more than 80,000. All constructions are expected to be finished by 2020.
With such intensive development, Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of Qatar's supreme committee for delivery and legacy, confirms having faith that Qatar could easily host more teams. However, the committee had to settle with not pursuing this option due to the advance stages of preparations, logistical impacts and decision time frames involved.
Why choose Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
The FIFA Council chose Qatar to host this world-class event for various reasons, top ones being:
- To increase its goodwill in the Middle East, with its neighbors like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait who raised hostilities to the country amidst escalating political uncertainties.
- To boost economy after its recent hurricane challenges.
- To help project a more positive Arab image to the sporting world. Qatar is the first Arab country to ever host a football World Cup.
The country has proven to be able to withstand pressures and constantly reinvent itself for tourists and multi-national professionals, despite the society being conservative in its deepest areas. It has moved the World Cup from the earlier estimated peak dates in the blistering heat of summer to the winter of 2022 so that climate will not pose as a challenge to the participants and viewers. Qatar also boasts of being the richest per capita state in the world, a fact which all 1.7 million Qatari nationals hold with pride. With a massive capital already available and outside sponsorship, endorsements and partnerships from brands like Adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa, Wanda Group and Qatar Airways, Qatar and FIFA can definitely pull off an excellent event experience for everyone.
When does the 2022 FIFA World Cup take place?
The World Cup is expected to be wound up within a time frame of 28 days, starting on November 21st and ending on December 18th 2022, which happens to be Qatar National Day.