EXPLAINER: What’s post-World Cup future for Qatar’s stadiums

Dec 4, 2022, 11:45 PM | Updated: Dec 5, 2022, 1:50 pm
FILE - General view of the Khalifa International Stadium ahead the World Cup round of 16 soccer mat...

FILE - General view of the Khalifa International Stadium ahead the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between the Netherlands and the United States, in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

              FILE - A general view of the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Hussein Sayed, File)
            
              FILE - A general view of the Education City Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
            
              FILE  A general view of the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
            
              FILE - A general view ahead of the World Cup, group B soccer match between the United States and Wales, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)
            
              FILE - A general view of the Al-Rayan Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
            
              FILE - A general view of the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.(AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
            
              FILE - A partial view of the Stadium 974 prior to the start of the World Cup group G soccer match between Serbia and Switzerland, in Doha, Qatar, Qatar, Friday Dec. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)
            
              FILE - A general view of the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
            
              FILE - General view of the Khalifa International Stadium ahead the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between the Netherlands and the United States, in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The World Cup stadium was designed to leave a minimal footprint in the Qatari sand. It’s now due to be dismantled.

Stadium 974 played host to seven matches, the last of which was Brazil’s 4-1 win over South Korea in the round of 16 on Monday.

The Qataris say the stadium will disappear, but it isn’t clear when that will happen. The Gulf country will soon stage an Asian Cup, the multi-sport Asian Games and maybe even an Olympics.

A look at FIFA requirements for World Cup stadiums and what happens next for Qatar’s venues.

WHAT DID QATAR NEED?

FIFA has clear specifications for a World Cup host’s venues plan.

A main stadium holding at least 80,000 people to stage the final, at least one more of 60,000 capacity that must host a semifinal, and several more of at least 40,000 — though FIFA let Russia have two that dipped below 35,000 four years ago.

Qatar had a 12-stadium plan when it bid for and won the hosting rights in 2010.

About three years into its long preparations for the 2022 tournament, that project plan was cut to eight stadiums. Seven of them were built from scratch, and the Khalifa International Stadium was renovated before hosting the 2019 world championships in track and field.

FIFA accepted this because Qatari soccer simply didn’t need so many new venues. Nor did Qatar need such big venues for its domestic games in the 12-team Qatar Stars League, where games typically draw crowds of a few thousand.

The long-term promise during bidding was to cut back one tier from some venues after the tournament. The steel and seats would be donated to less wealthy countries needing stadium infrastructure.

WHAT WAS BUILT IN QATAR?

The exact cost of Qatar’s stadiums is unclear. The total spending on projects that were tied to preparing for the World Cup is estimated at about $200 billion.

What Qatar got for its money was seven new and distinctive arenas with strong themes taking inspiration from local culture.

The 89,000-capacity Lusail Stadium is modeled after a hand-crafted bowl; the 69,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium resembles a nomad’s desert tent; the Al Thumama Stadium is like a woven cap.

Al Janoub Stadium designed by the late Zaha Hadid, then the world’s most famous woman architect, is said to be inspired by the sails of a pearl fishing boat. Many observers saw feminine finesse in the sweeping curves of its roof.

WHO BUILT THEM?

Tens of thousands of migrant workers were brought mostly from South Asia to labor in conditions that are the main controversy of this World Cup.

The exact number of workers who died or were injured on projects related to the tournament is unclear, in part because Qatar didn’t collect data or investigate the deaths.

Qatar reformed the so-called kafala system that tied workers to their employers, including European construction firms, and adopted a monthly minimum wage of 1,000 Qatari riyals ($275).

However, rights activists claim Qatar doesn’t enforce its laws with enough rigor.

FIFA has shown some willingness to heed calls to create a compensation fund for the families of dead and injured migrant workers.

The Qatari government has dismissed the calls as a publicity stunt, and notes its own efforts to ensure workers get their unpaid salary.

POST-WORLD CUP PLAN?

Much of the detail is unclear such as where the stadium parts will go, but several will be scaled back.

Lusail Stadium will incorporate “a community space of schools, shops, cafés, sporting facilities and health clinics,” Qatari World Cup organizers have said. Al Bayt will have a five-star hotel, shopping mall and sports medicine clinic.

Two of the stadiums will be used by local soccer clubs. Ahmad bin Ali Stadium is home for the Al Rayyan club and Al Wakrah will play at Al Janoub.

Khalifa International Stadium should still host Qatar national team games, including in qualifying games for the 2026 World Cup.

MORE BIG EVENTS

Some of the stadiums can be reused for the next Asian Cup scheduled in January 2024.

Qatar officially picked up the hosting rights one month before the World Cup started, replacing China, which cited the COVID-19 pandemic for handing back the tournament it was due to stage in June 2023.

Maybe Stadium 974 could be reprieved for the Asian championship starting in 13 months’ time? The venue was constructed in the Doha Port area to a Lego-like design with the same amount of shipping containers as the number in Qatar’s international telephone code.

Qatar also needs venues to host the 2030 Asian Games, a multi-sports championships that has more athletes competing than the Olympics.

Then there is the big Olympic prize Qatar wants: the Summer Games as soon as 2036.

___

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Zoubin Ghahramani, vice president of research at Google, speaks at the Google AI@ event on W...
Associated Press

Google has the next move as Microsoft embraces OpenAI buzz

Before the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT was unleashed into the world, the novelist Robin Sloan was testing a similar AI writing assistant built by researchers at Google.
9 hours ago
budgets...
Associated Press

Group’s lawsuit seeks to void Washington transportation law

A conservative legal advocacy organization is suing to halt the nearly $17 billion transportation funding bill passed by the Washington Legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last year.
9 hours ago
Associated Press

NJ local official found shot to death outside her home

SAYREVILLE, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey woman who was recently elected to her borough council was found shot to death in an SUV parked outside her home, authorities said. Sayreville Borough Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, 30, was found at around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office. She had been shot multiple […]
1 day ago
Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin, left, and Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson attend a jo...
Associated Press

Nordic PMs: Keep calm, we still plan to join NATO together

STOCKHOLM (AP) — In a strong show of unity, the prime ministers of Finland and Sweden on Thursday called for calm amid tensions with Turkey over their applications to become NATO members and reaffirmed their intent to have the two countries join the military alliance at the same time. A series of recent demonstrations in […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

US ambassador’s views on Hungary ‘irrelevant,’ minister says

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Hungarian foreign minister accused the United States ambassador to Budapest on Thursday of trying to interfere in Hungary’s internal affairs, amid a growing diplomatic rift between the U.S. and the Central European country. At a news conference in Budapest, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto lashed out at comments in Politico this […]
1 day ago
Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog,...
Associated Press

Beyond Phil: Other rodents that purport to ‘predict’ weather

Rodents predicting weather trends. Why? Just as fair a Groundhog Day question, though, is this: Why not? And more importantly, why should Punxsutawney Phil always get to, well, hog the press? The spring-heralding (or spring-delaying) small animal has taken firm root in some swaths of American culture. And while Phil and his Pennsylvania ilk are […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
EXPLAINER: What’s post-World Cup future for Qatar’s stadiums