Will charges currently rocking the football world upend some of the starchitect-designed stadiums being built across the globe? In the wake of the United States' indictment of 14 FIFA officials and marketing executives over graft and corruption earlier this week, and the news that the Swiss Office of the Attorney General was opening an investigation into how Russia and Qatar were chosen as hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, it appears renewed focus may be placed on the Qatari bid process, as well as the already-controversial construction methods that have met with condemnation from human rights groups such as Amnesty International. How might this affect, say, the future of Zaha Hadid's Al Wakrah Stadium?
FIFA, AECOM (a firm providing design and construction supervision for the stadium project), and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (the Qatari agency overseeing construction) haven't answered requests for comment on the situation and its potential repercussions. It's still very early in the process to have a firm sense of how things may shake out, and the potential ripple effects of a much closer examination of FIFA's bid process. That hasn't stopped speculation that these charges may affect the 2022 games —already controversial because they were moved from the summer to the fall to avoid the scorching Qatari heat —as well as Qatari-U.S. relations. And even though the 2022 Qatari World Cup is seven years away, there has, quite literally, been concrete progress on construction. Workers began laying the foundation for Al Wakrah back in late February. While the design has its detractors, the fact that ground has been broken, and those doing the groundbreaking are working under difficult conditions, would make it a shame if all was for naught.
· Previous Al Wakrah Stadium coverage [Curbed]
· Previous World Cup coverage [Curbed]
· Haunting Stone Tower Spells Out Qatar's World Cup Death Toll [Curbed]