Qatar: 2022 World Cup is ‘a do-or-die project’

The Saudi-led blockade will not impact Qatar’s preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a Qatari official responsible for the tournament said in an interview published Monday.

“For every challenge that we face, there are solutions that keep popping up,” Secretary General of the Qatar World Cup Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy Hassan Al-Thawadi told Bloomberg in an interview.

According to Thawadi, Malaysian was replacing Saudi steel, while Oman will provide building materials originally ordered from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). China was also trying to capitalize on the ongoing crisis, he said.

“We are working with our contractors to make sure we actually deliver long-term supply chain solutions and alternatives,” Thawadi said.

Planning to host the 2022 World Cup, Qatar committed to spend at least $200 billion on new stadiums, infrastructure, and even vowed to build a new city.

Adel Abdel Ghafar, visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, said that hosting the tournament was “a do-or-die” project for Qatar.

“It’s a matter of prestige and national pride and they are fully invested in it, so I don’t see work for the project being stopped,” Ghafar added.

Al-Wakrah, a 40,000-seat stadium, being built for the football World Cup 2022 will be ready on schedule next year despite sanctions imposed by Gulf neighbors, coming next in line after Khalifa stadium, which was completed in May.

Thawadi said that other stadiums would be ready by 2020 to allow for an 18-month test run before millions of football fans pour into Qatar.

Qatar is building or refurbishing eight stadiums for the 2022 event.