This week, organisers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup have announced they are seriously considering reducing the number of host venues down from twelve to as few as eight, with Umm Salal stadium (pictured above) being one of several venue designs that may not now come to fruition.
In a statement, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy for the 2022 FIFA World Cup cited the size of the host nation as a factor in this decision: “The process of selecting the final proposed line-up of host venues is ongoing in consultation with FIFA. Given the size of our country, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee decided to look into reducing the originally proposed 12 venues to fit the country’s specifications, while ensuring best playing conditions for all 64 matches.”
The statement also reiterated the fact that eight is the minimum number of stadiums generally accepted by FIFA for the hosting of a World Cup: “The 2022 Local Organising Committee will submit, by December 2014, a proposal for an appropriate number of host venues, whilst ensuring a suitable legacy for the country and the national league after the tournament. The approval of the final number of stadiums is envisaged by the FIFA Executive Committee by March 2015.”