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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2022 World Cup preparations ‘to get boost next year’

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2022 World Cup preparations ‘to get boost next year’ 
Nasser al-Khater addressing the gathering at the Coliseum Summit 2011 yesterday
By Ramesh MathewQatar’s preparations for hosting the 2022 Fifa World Cup will get a boost early next year with the appointment of a programme management consultant (PMC), who in turn will be co-ordinating with different government departments and relevant international agencies in the coming years, to make the sport extravaganza a thumping success, Communications Director of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Nasser al-Khater said yesterday.
Al-Khater revealed this while addressing a select gathering comprising decision makers, stakeholders, architects and professionals in building sport infrastructure and media at the Coliseum Summit 2011, hosted by Coliseum Sports Venues of the World, Dubai and held at Doha’s Four Seasons Hotel.
Al-Khater, who was speaking on behalf of Secretary General of Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Hassan al-Thawadi said, “The Supreme Committee was formed with the purpose of ensuring successful and timely delivery of all vital projects necessary to host an amazing World Cup and also to ensure a lasting legacy for many generations to come,” he said.
The Supreme Committee official said the activities of the World Cup would get a kickstart, once the appointment of the programme management consultant is made. It was announced yesterday that the consultant in tandem with the Supreme Committee will create the road map and master plans until 2022 and beyond. The committee, he said, will bring on board consultants, contractors and suppliers when the road map is ready, added al-Khater.
The official also indicated that there would be a spending of several billion dollars in the next 11 years for building facilities, including upgrading the country’s road, and other communication infrastructure. This would include the spending likely to be incurred on promotion of the event through world media, as well as hospitality and marketing of the event in different world capitals in the coming years.
The communication official indicated that more efforts to popularise the event would be made in what he referred to as “emerging markets”.
While speaking about the World Cup infrastructural plans,  al-Khater said as announced earlier, there would be 12 world-class stadiums in and around Doha, of which nine will be brand new. Three existing stadiums, namely Khalifa Stadium, Gharafa and Al Rayyan, each of which the Fifa officials feel is good enough to hold matches, would undergo massive refurbishing.
Besides Lusail, the new venues will be at Al Shamal,  Al Khor, Umm Salal,  Al Wakrah, Education City, Doha Port, Qatar University and Sports City.
“Among the new stadiums would be the iconic sport facility at Lusail, which would have seating for 86,250 spectators,” said al-Khater. Both the opening and final matches of the championship would be held at this venue.
The committee official felt the cooling technologies to be put in place in the stadiums would be a wholly new experience for the spectators and it is expected to give them a lot of comfort while being at the venue of the matches.
The official recalled that 1994 World Cup in USA was also played in somewhat similar conditions as in Qatar in June.
“However,  I’m sure the cooling technologies that this country is going to put in place will make things comfortable for the football fans,” he said. He said the experiments in this regard that the Bid committee carried out at the prototype stadium near Electricity roundabout during the visit of the Fifa teams turned out to be successful.
The successful conduct of the 2022 event would pave the foundation for a good sporting future for the whole of the region, felt al-Khater.

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