Report: Qatar to spend a whopping $200 billion on 2022 World Cup
If you thought FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar – a desert nation the size of Connecticut with some 2 million inhabitants – was shocking, wait until you get a load of the petroleum-rich Middle Eastern country’s expected budget for the event.
A cool $200 billion.
That’s the finding of a report released by the Deloitte consulting firm on Tuesday, estimating that Qatar will spend $140 billion on transportation infrastructure alone, including a new airport, rail and road links, to host the world’s most popular sporting event in nine years’ time.
Bear in mind that the nation’s extravagant World Cup bid promised a raft of new, air-conditioned outdoor stadiums utilizing technology which does not yet exist, and one of those venues will be based in a city which has yet to be built.
Another $20 billion will apparently go towards the continued development of the Persian Gulf state’s rapidly-growing tourism industry, which eventually hopes to host nearly twice as many tourists each year as Qatar has residents.
A cloud continues to hang over FIFA’s decision to award the World Cup to Qatar ahead of bids from Australia and the United States, with widespread reports of bribery, influence-peddling and other corruption surrounding the process.
Debate has also swirled around the questionable wisdom of holding the summer tournament in a place where temperatures routinely hover well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with some urging FIFA to move the event to December or January in order to safeguard the health and safety of players and fans.