SC chief says blockade ‘no risk’ to 2022 World Cup

Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) secretary general Hassan al-Thawadi yesterday insisted the Saudi Arabia-led blockade of Qatar poses “no risk” to the 2022 World Cup. “We have come under criticism and attack over the years, but we have always faced our critics,” al-Thawadi told the Associated Press.

SCHassan al-Thawadi

“Our projects are going ahead as scheduled. This [blockade] is no risk in relation to the hosting of the World Cup.”

“Every project has contingency plans and we have had contingency plans in place from the very start,” al-Thawadi said in an interview during a visit to London to attend an exhibition by the Doha-based Aspire sports academy.

“Once the blockade came into play we contacted the main contractors, we put in place alternative supply chains, we sourced alternative materials from alternate suppliers. I’m very happy to say that our project scale is on time and there is no significant impact on our projects. “As of today we haven’t seen a significant impact on the cost. There might have been some minimal increase in terms of establishing alternative supply chains but these have been absorbed very, very quickly and been normalised as these supply chains have been put in place.”

Qatar’s competition venues executive director Ghanim Ali al-Kuwari said the country is still on track to be ready for the tournament in five years. “One stadium is ready and the other seven are on schedule,” he said. “The blockade has actually been a benefit, I would say. We have different resources now, different support from different countries.

“Now we are using different technology, different prices and different quality, from countries like Turkey, Europe, England, France, Germany, China and the USA.”