FIFA forms 2022 World Cup joint venture with Qatar
The new entity, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, is 51 per cent owned by FIFA and 49 per cent by the local organising committee.
In a statement, FIFA claimed that the creation of the joint venture – the first time FIFA has entered into such a relationship with a local organising committee – would help streamline the operational side of organising its flagship international tournament.
The joint venture is set to focus on the event delivery, while a Qatari government body will continue to manage the development of the new infrastructure as well as the tournament’s various legacy programmes.
The move gives FIFA a greater measure of control over the delivery of its own event, and potentially bolster the body’s ability to alter the tournament’s format. FIFA president Gianni Infantino has spoken of his desire to increase the tournament size to 48 teams and that Qatar could share the World Cup with its neighbours – despite the fact that Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have all severed diplomatic relations with the country.
Colin Smith, FIFA’s chief tournaments and events officer, has been named as the managing director of the joint venture. Smith explained that the joint venture was necessary in order to tackle the challenges of planning a World Cup in Qatar, although he appeared to signal that FIFA may look to create similar ventures for future tournaments.
“The continuous growth and complexities of a FIFA World Cup and the need for integrated involvement of all key areas across a host country has made it clear that a more efficient and optimised operational structure is required,” Smith said.
The rest of the joint venture’s management board is composed of FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura, its two deputy secretaries general, Zvonimir Boban and Alasdair Bell, and FIFA’s chief legal officer, Emilio Garcia Silvero, as well as Hassan Al Thawadi, who is the new company’s chairman, Nasser Al-Khater, its chief executive, the (Qatar Football Association) QFA vice president Saoud Al-Mohannadi and the chairman of the Qatari legacy body, Yasir Al Jamal.
Samoura added: “I am convinced that this new approach to planning, delivery and legacy, always hand in hand with our colleagues based in Qatar, will help to ensure that the World Cup continues to be the most eagerly awaited event by billions of fans worldwide."
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