If the decision passes, 2022 World Cup will be the smallest stadium-wise since 1978, when the number of teams was twice smaller. Is FIFA undermining its credibility by accepting Qatar’s request to cut the list to 8 stadiums?
Already when Qatar was granted the hosting of 2022 World Cup, criticism was hardly comparable with any other selection FIFA ever made.
But the country of less than 2 million inhabitants assured in its bid that it’s ready to meet all expectations and prepared 12 host-venues, the amount regarded as optimum for the tournament.
However, in mid-April the financial company Bank of America Merrill Lynch revealed in a statement to investors that Qatar is now applying to cut the list to as few as 8 stadiums, as the country sees their entire World Cup project too costly.
Now FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke informed about his organization approving Qatar’s request. The final venue list isn’t ready yet, but Valcke assured his organisation has no interest in a country as small as Qatar to submit 12 stadiums.
Speaking to Associated Press, Valcke said that its current talks with the country about the world cup "will be pragmatic and we will find the right number". He said it will be between 8 and 10 stadiums.
If the venue list stops at 8, this will be the smallest tournament in terms of stadium number since 1978, when the World Cup was still only a 16-team tournament, twice smaller than currently.