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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Shared World Cups likely after Qatar hosts 2022 tournament

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Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Reem Saad/Doha News

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.

Qatar Foundation stadium rendering. Credit: SCDL

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.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino during a 2016 visit to Khalifa International Stadium. Credit: Peter Kovessy/Doha News

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.

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