Broken promises? Future of Qatar’s World Cup stadiums still up in the air | Nick Ames

There appears to be no rush to dismantle and repurpose the venues despite lavish pre-tournament assurances on legacy

The workers’ accommodation next to Ahmad bin Ali Stadium is at least two thirds empty now. Those who remain can make the short walk from the central block to the mess room, where food and drink are available. The other two structures have virtually been hollowed out since the World Cup: one of the alleys between them is all but blocked by a pile of bedframes and mattresses, of which there are plenty because the inhabitants lived four to a room. Presumably someone, at some point, will arrive to clear up the extensive clutter; further behind is a spread of binbags and other trash. An employee estimates 100 men remain: they are contracted to the two firms who built the venue and, while the showpiece event is long gone, there is still work to be done here.

Exactly how much remains to be seen. These workers appear to be carrying out routine maintenance but, according to Qatar’s post-tournament legacy plan for the site, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium will soon be scaled back from its present 45,000 capacity to a more manageable 20,000. The removed seats in its upper tier will be donated to venues domestically and “nations in need of sporting infrastructure”; a newly compact arena will be neatly sized for domestic and continental games played by the local club, Al Rayyan.

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