Browsing 'world cup 2022' News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Doha Stadium Plus Qatar/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

French authorities said they are considering launching an investigation into Qatar being awarded the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

Speaking on the French radio station Europe 1 yesterday, the country’s financial prosecutor Eliane Houlette fielded a question about launching such a probe, and answered by saying the idea remains a possibility.

“We are thinking about it, we have several elements that encourage us to investigate,” Reuters reported Houlette as saying.

Her comments come amid allegations that senior French officials may have pressured FIFA into choosing Qatar.

Former UEFA President Michel Platini would likely be among the figures examined, but the Frenchman not be the sole focus of such an inquiry, Houlette said.

“If there is an investigation, probably the role of Mr. Platini will be essential, but the investigation will not be focused on Mr. Platini,” she said.

French authorities can investigate if they have reason to believe that their own nationals are involved in a case, or if a case or unlawful elements of the bid took place in France.

Since being awarded hosting rights in 2010, Qatar has denied allegations of wrongdoing concerning the bid. So far, there has been no strong evidence to challenge such claims.

Allegations

Platini is the former president of the European governing body of football.

In December 2015, following an investigation by FIFA’s ethics committee, he and ex-FIFA President Sepp Blatter were banned from all football-related activity for eight years.

Platini’s ban was this month reduced to four years by the Court of Arbitration in Sport.

Following the ruling, Platini said he would step down from UEFA.

Sepp Blatter

FIFA/Twitter

Sepp Blatter

At the time of last year’s FIFA probe, the pair were cleared of corruption claims, but were found guilty of a number of other breaches, including a conflict of interest and dereliction of duty.

At issue was an alleged payment of 2 million Swiss Francs (QR7.3 million) from Blatter to Platini in 2011, which was claimed to be back-pay for previous work, but no written contract was submitted to support this.

FIFA is at the center of separate investigations taking place by authorities in the US and Switzerland amid allegations of corruption in the organization.

The Swiss Attorney General launched criminal investigations last May following the arrest of seven top FIFA officials in Zurich on behalf of the US Department of Justice.

And last December, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch revealed details of criminal charges against 16 current and former Fifa officials for “sustained abuse of their positions for financial gain,” the FT reported at the time.

Thoughts?

Qatar’s World Cup stadiums to cost up to $10bn, official says

Qatar’s lead World Cup organizer has put a price tag on the stadiums that are being constructed and renovated for the 2022 tournament.

Speaking at the Chatham House policy institute in London, Hassan Al-Thawadi – the secretary-general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy – said the country’s World Cup stadiums would cost between $8 billion and $10 billion, according to AP. Some $200 billion is being spent on the wider infrastructure needed for the tournament, he added.

Al Rayyan Stadium rendering

SCDL

Al Rayyan Stadium rendering

Qatar’s upcoming Al Rayyan World Cup stadium has been awarded Stadium Design of the Year by some of the world’s top sporting facilities experts this week.

The honor was given to tournament organizers the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) at the 2016 World Stadium Congress, which wraps up today.

Al Rayyan stadium rendering

SCDL

Al Rayyan stadium rendering

In a statement about the award, the stadium’s project manager Abdulla Al Fehani said:

“(It’s) a reconfirmation of our commitment to excellence in creating innovative designs which incorporate the culture, heritage and needs of the local community.”

The 40,000-seat facility was designed by UK-based Ramboll and Pattern and takes inspiration from Qatar’s desert sand dunes.

It is being built for the 2022 World Cup on the site of the now-deconstructed Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium.

Design change

Qatar’s initial plans called for the facility to be redeveloped, but it was torn down instead.

The original vision for Al Rayyan Stadium showed the facility wrapped in a massive digital display board that would show scores, photographs and other information.

Former rendering of Al Rayyan Stadium

Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy

Former rendering of Al Rayyan Stadium

However, that was later replaced with renderings that described the venue as having soft corners and undulating waves that draw on Islamic geometric influences.

The same theme can also been seen in the facade of Qatar’s iconic Burj Al Arab building in West Bay/Dafna.

Officials previously said the stadium will have seven distinct motifs: Shield, desert rose, chain, nut heart, banana spiral, palm tree and bridal ring patterns that “unify” to form one design.

Al Rayyan stadium design

SCDL

Al Rayyan stadium design

Elsewhere in the sporting complex, structures meant to resemble the sand dunes that surround traditional desert tents will flank the stadium and host multi-functional hospitality and service areas.

Nearby facilities will include the Al Rayyan Doha Metro link, located five minutes from the currently under-construction Mall of Qatar and a new branch of the ultra-modern sports medicine hospital, Aspetar.

Construction of Al Rayyan Stadium is expected to be completed in 2019.

Thoughts?