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Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar could be the last country to solo host the World Cup, as FIFA prepare to accept applications from nations who want to co-host the 2026 games.

Speaking to media yesterday while in Doha, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the tournament could be held by up to four countries, according to Reuters.

This is because many nations incur a heavy financial toll preparing for and hosting the World Cup.

SCDL

Qatar Foundation stadium rendering

Qatar for example is spending a staggering $500 million a week on tournament and infrastructure-related projects ahead of 2022.

“We will encourage co-hosting for the World Cup because we need FIFA to show we are reasonable and we have to think about sustainability long-term,” Infantino said.

Bidding for the games could begin later this year.

White elephants

The question of sustainability has dogged Qatar since it was selected as a World Cup host in 2010.

The country is building most of its stadiums from scratch, as well as hundreds of hotels that could end up sitting empty after the tournament.

Gianni Infantino visits Khalifa International Stadium.

FIFA

FIFA President Gianni Infantino during a 2016 visit to Khalifa International Stadium.

According to BBC, Infantino said he is confident Qatar’s projects will be ready on time. But he added that “a lot remains to be done.”

And previously, Qatar officials have said they don’t want to end up with any “white elephants.”

Instead, the country plans to host several other sporting tournaments to make use of their facilities before and after the World Cup.

Thoughts?

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Qatar National Sport Day 2015

Happy National Sport Day, everyone!

Here’s our guide to what’s happening around town today, including at Aspire, Katara Cultural Village, the Museum of Islamic Art Park and the Pearl-Qatar. (Medium link is here).

Keep in mind that some things might move indoors due to the weather.

It’s going to be a cloudy morning in Doha, with scattered rains forecast to turn into thunderstorms by nighttime.

Meanwhile, temps are expected to remain warm – it will be between 19C (66F) to 22C (71F) today.

What are your plans for the day? Thoughts?

Ray Toh

Qatar Total Open 2016

Some of the best tennis players in the world are in town this week to compete in the 2017 Qatar Total Open, which opens on Monday.

The 15th edition of the tournament runs from Feb. 13 to 18 and will see several top-seeded athletes compete for some $776,000 in prize money.

That includes former World No. 1 Angelique Kerber of Germany, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska and Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

Czech’s Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza of Spain are also among 32 singles players facing off in the six-day event, according to the Qatar Tennis Federation.

However, Carla Suárez Navarro, the 2016 champion, has withdrawn due to a shoulder injury. World No.8 Svetlana Kuznetsova has also pulled out of the tournament.

Tickets

It remains unclear how the weather will affect play this week, as forecasters are warning of high winds and rainy conditions.

But tickets are still on sale for those who wish to check out the tournament, which is being held at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.

Ray Toh

Qatar Total Open 2016

They start at QR25 and go up to QR350 per person.

Who’s going? Thoughts?