December 10 - Senior officials from the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee (Q22) – organisers of the World Cup in 10 years' time – have met here with FIFA to update football's world governing body on strategy and infrastructure plans.
Amid continuing debate over whether or not the tournament should be switched to the winter to avoid the searing summer desert heat or even shared with other Gulf states, Q22 presented FIFA with the first draft of their so-called Grand Master Schedule for Stadia Construction.
Organisers are putting considerable faith in the cooling techniques they say will make watching matches more than palatable and the Grand Master Schedule will provide a framework for timelines of construction for both competition and non-competition venues, in addition to national infrastructure projects key to the successful hosting of the event.
Q22 and FIFA agreed to establish a working group, encompassing various departments – scheduled to meet every two months.
"Our meetings with FIFA represent an important step in continuing with our progress toward preparing for the delivery of a successful 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar," Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of Q22, said.
"The agreements we have reached for working groups and senior officials to meet on a regular basis provide us with an enhanced framework for exchanging mutual updates and making timely decisions that will ultimately advance and enhance our FIFA World Cup programme."
Earlier this year, the Q22 submitted a three-year Intermediate Project Management Plan (IPMP) to FIFA.
News of the latest meeting came on the eve of the main business at the two-day Doha Goals conference, to be formally inaugurated on today by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, followed by an appearance from FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Doha Goals, which comprises a galaxy of star-studded speakers, is Qatar's latest initiative to use sport as a vehicle for social and economic change, attracting more than 1,500 participants from 60 countries.
Among the other speakers are Sebastian Coe, chairman of London 2012, as well as Olympic and Paralympic icons Ian Thorpe, Carl Lewis and Oscar Pistorius.
Sheikh Faisal Bin Mubarak Al Thani, executive director of Doha Goals, elaborated on the four key themes of the event: "How sports federations can achieve more and how to help them develop; how to encourage more women in sport; the challenge to engage children and youths and budget and funding issues."
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