A look at the stadiums in five countries in the Persian Gulf that FIFA identifies as possible venues if the 2022 World Cup is expanded to 48 teams and additional venues outside Qatar are required. (Capacities are according to FIFA)
Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa, 30,000
Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium, Kuwait City, 60,000
Sabah Al-Salem Stadium, Kuwait City, 26,000
Boshar-Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat, 34,000
King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh, 68,000
King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, Jeddah, 62,000
Prince Mohammed bin Fahad bin Abdul Aziz, Dammam, 26,000
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 43,000
Mohammad bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 42,000
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain, 23,000
The stadiums are featured in a copy of a feasibility study into adding 16 teams obtained by The Associated Press ahead of it being discussed at a meeting of the FIFA Council on Friday.
Qatar is already planning to use eight stadiums, and the FIFA report says an additional two to four venues would be required in at least one country in a 48-team World Cup in 2022.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE severed economic, diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar in 2017, preventing flights between the countries.
“It is important to stress that this list is based on a preliminary search only and is non-exhaustive,” the FIFA feasibility study states. “Moreover, the potential suitability of these and other stadiums could only be conclusively determined following a comprehensive inspection process, in which such stadiums were closely scrutinized against FIFA’s requirements for FIFA World Cup stadiums as well as assessed for their availability, construction plans, etc.
“In this respect, it is worth noting that any construction works which would be required would need to be completed prior to the tournament. For reference, FIFA generally requires that stadiums be completed 12 months prior to the tournament in order to ensure venue readiness and testing.”