In Brief

Qatar World Cup ‘at risk’ says confidential study

Report says Doha is ‘far from certain’ of hosting the 2022 finals

A confidential study has puts doubts over Qatar hosting the 2022 Fifa World Cup finals, the BBC reports.  

Published by management consultants Cornerstone Global, the study, obtained by the BBC, states there is “an increasing political risk” of the Gulf nation’s hosting rights being stripped – a claim denied by Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. 

The BBC says the study has warned construction companies that Qatar’s $200billion (£153bn) infrastructure programme is a “high-risk project”. The report states: “Tournament insiders and regional experts have both stated to us that it is far from certain Doha will actually host the tournament.”

According to Associated Press, Qatar is currently involved in a diplomatic crisis after Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut ties on 5 June. AP writes that “it’s unclear what, if anything, will resolve the crisis”.

In a statement to the BBC, a spokesman from the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy denied the claims: “There is absolutely no risk to the future of the first World Cup in the Middle East. No impact on preparations as a result of the ongoing and illegal blockade against Qatar.”

The Cornerstone Global study which is called ‘Qatar in focus: Is the Fifa World Cup 2022 in danger?’, has been published to give clients a “unique insight” in to doing business in “complex and challenging environments”.

The study says: “Western diplomats have privately stated they do not know whether or not the tournament will take place as planned. The reasons for this are many and include open allegations of corruption – both in the bidding process and in the infrastructure development.

“Qatar is under greater pressure regarding its hosting of the tournament... the current political crisis has seen – or at least raised the possibility of – a Qatari opposition movement emerging.”

According to the study, there is an “increased risk for those working on, or seeking contracts for World Cup 2022 infrastructure... with a risk of non-payment and no realistic ability to enforce any legal contracts.

This means the tournament could fail to go ahead. “Given the current political situation... it is certainly possible that the tournament will not be held in Qatar.

The study also says that any cancellation of Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup is likely to be ‘abrupt’ and leave contractors in a ‘precarious situation’.

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