The 2022 World Cup will take place on time despite the knock on from the coronavirus pandemic, the host state Qatar has pledged.
Qatar’s foreign minister said the designs of the stadiums, which are nearly 90% complete, will comply with any changes to health and safety guidance as a result of COVID-19 and that consultations with the organising committee are ongoing.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told Sky News: “We believe that Qatar is working very closely and strongly with different healthcare organisations to make sure to deliver a healthy and safe World Cup and believe that this is part of the cure for the world to be back together in a happy manner.
“There is an ongoing exercise with the organising committee, with different stakeholders, to make sure that all the health and safety standards are applied in all our stadiums, so it’s still something ongoing.
“Once it’s clear for all of us, I’m sure that we are going to put it out to the public.”
Qatar has suffered an unusually high number of coronavirus infections given its small population but has managed to keep the death rate low.
The Gulf nation, with a population of 2.8 million, has recorded 65,000 cases to date but has suffered only 49 deaths.
It has put in place a rigorous test and trace system, criticised by some as being too intrusive.
The Emir of Qatar took part in Thursday’s vaccine conference hosted by Boris Johnson, where the Gulf nation pledged $20m (£15.5m) to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Sheikh Mohammed revealed. – Sky Sports.