- They are planning to alter World Cup stadiums according to legacy needs
- Venues will be converted into convention centres or facilities for locals
- A stage managed media trip did not show all 500,000-plus migrants
- ECB alienated Investec by agreeing a new deal with another financial firm
Qatar’s World Cup authorities are learning from the debacle around the conversion of the London Stadium from an athletics venue to a football ground, where spiralling costs are now the subject of an inquiry by the London Mayor.
The Qatar masterplan involves dismantling a number of their eight World Cup venues along the lines of the first concept for London’s Olympic Stadium, which was to be reduced in size to become a dedicated track-and-field facility.
Changes of plan in Stratford pushed up costs and Qatar don’t intend to make the same errors. Alterations to their stadiums post-2022 will all be based around legacy needs.
Qatar’s World Cup authorities are learning from the conversion of the London Stadium
Spiralling costs for the conversion are now the subject of an inquiry by the London Mayor
These include taking apart whole tiers of seats that will be reconstructed in compact new grounds. Other venues will be converted into convention centres or facilities tailored to local residents’ needs.
Whisper Films, the TV production company run by Jake Humphrey and David Coulthard that has won awards for its F1 coverage on Channel 4, are entrusting top producer Jim Wiseman to pull in disaffected Top Gear viewers.
Wiseman, who helped create the Top Gear format before the BBC’s seismic split with Jeremy Clarkson and Co, developed and produced The Classic Car Show for Channel 5 that ambitious Whisper has acquired.
A stage-managed media tour laid on by the Qatar authorities has taken journalists to a giant new complex in the industrial centre of Doha.
Labour City is home to 60,000 migrant workers living in relatively comfortable four-bed rooms along with recreational areas, cinemas, shops, restaurants, a medical centre and a cricket ground.
The media trip was designed to dispel concerns in the build-up to Qatar 2022 about the much-reported slave-labour conditions.
A media trip was designed to dispel concerns ahead of Qatar 2022 over labour conditions
Life is all right for those lucky enough to be in the flagship premises — with six more Labour Cities being built — but how are the other 500,000-plus migrants treated in Qatar?
And the medical centre we were shown, with its state-of-the-art equipment, would have been more impressive if any of the migrants could have been seen benefiting from it. But there was only one worker there having dental treatment.
The doctor in charge said they were waiting for a lot of licences to be granted before the healthcare can start properly.
How are the other 500,000-plus migrants treated in Qatar outside of flagship Labour City?
The fuss surrounding Britain’s IOC member Sir Craig Reedie continuing as chairman of the World Anti-Doping Authority was demonstrated by IOC president Thomas Bach’s sparky reaction when asked about the situation.
Leaving Doha’s Nobu restaurant late at night with his kingmaker Sheik Ahmad Al-Sabah, who wants Reedie replaced immediately with an independent chairman, Bach quipped: ‘Maybe you all need an independence tester when you leave here.’
ECB sponsors stumped
The ECB have alienated major sponsors Investec by agreeing a new deal with another company in the financial sector — allegedly without consulting them.
Investec, who signed a 10-year agreement in 2011 to sponsor Test cricket in England, were not impressed at the ECB signing up NatWest to replace Waitrose as their shirt sponsor.
Waitrose are upset at the ECB and have pulled out of renewing a three-year contract
This followed Waitrose’s own upset at the ECB and outside agencies. Waitrose sources say they were planning to renew a three-year contract that ends after the current tour of India, but pulled out after finding ECB commercial chiefs were approaching other potential sponsors.
The ECB say Waitrose and Investec were aware of the new NatWest agreement before it was signed and announced.
The Football League may be upset at having to abort their grand plan to bring in four divisions of 20 clubs, but it entirely depended on the moneybags Premier League buying out FA Cup weekend dates and compensating League clubs for the loss of fixtures.
In the event, the FA didn’t want their flagship knockout tournament to become a midweek competition of far less value to overseas broadcasters.
The Football League were reliant on the Premier League for their ‘Whole Game Solution’