3 Dec 2010

Tiny Qatar brings 2022 World Cup to Middle East

7:20 am on 3 December 2010

Summer temperatures which can soar to above 50 degrees Celsius and a concern about lack of infrastructure have not deterred football's world govering body FIFA from awarding the 2022 World Cup to the tiny Gulf state of Qatar.

The Middle East has never before hosted a major global sporting event and analysts say Qatar's win willdo much to boost the region's global profile.

FIFA is likely to have been swayed by Qatar's wealth with money no object for the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas with an economy, forecast to grow by 15.5 percent this year and by 21 percent in 2011.

The ultra-modern Lusail Stadium, which has yet to be built, will host the opening and final matches.

With a capacity of 86,000 and surrounded by water, it will take four years to build and is expected to be completed by 2019.

Qatar is to renovate three stadiums and build nine new ones, with the 12 stadiums divided among seven host cities with the total cost of the construction and renovation is estimated at around $3 billion.