11 Years to complete a project, plenty of time…maybe not.


The World Cup is arguably the largest sport event in the world.  Most argue that not even the Olympics have the same amount of popularity world-wide.  Being honored to be the host nation comes with huge benefits; money from tourism, publicity across the globe, and a free birth into the tournament.  Not unlike the Olympics, FIFA (the governing body of soccer internationally) awards the location many years in advance to make sure the country is ready.   However with this great honor also comes a lot of risk, the preparation costs billions that the country may not guaranteed to recoup.  In 2010 South Africa held the World Cup, however as the event approached there were doubts if they would actually be ready.  As late as February 2010 FIFA and South Africa announced they still were not finished with the main stadium and still had 300,000 tickets unsold for the June tournament.  During South Africa’s planning rumors were common about other countries England or the United States hosting at the last minute.  This tarnished their reputation and could have been an underlying cause of a lower than expected attendance during the tournament. South Africa did successfully host the tournament however, it is very doubtful that they made a profit on the event.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter (R) and Qata

In 2011, Qatar was announced to be the host country for the 2022 world cup.  Since the announcement, Qatar has had to deal with tremendous pressure.  With many nations watching, any slip in schedule or wrong steps will make front-page headlines.  Project management for the event has proven very critical throughout the process.   Since Qatar received the announcement, there has been little headway in infrastructure and building. Many of the projects that have had little progress will affect others for instance the infrastructure needs to be completed before other projects, such as stadiums, can start. Keeping projects moving forward has shown to be one of the issues that have plagued Qatar.  It appears the government has realized one of the issues; in March, they held project management training to try to help the situation in scheduling and planning.  It is good to see that Qatar is identifying problems early and addressing them quickly.  As many are worried about this after living through South Africa’s struggles and Brazil’s (who host next year). I am confident that Qatar will in fact rise to the occasion.  The benefit to Qatar is its wealth; they will be able to spend more money to assure the projects get back on track as opposed to the last two host nations.   With Qatar realizing the issues with schedules, and wiliness to work on underlying issue such as project management skills Qatar will be ready for 2022; However, the jury is still out as to whether the event will actually generate any profit for the nation. The years leading up to the event will be critical assure the public, that the projects are on track and the event will live up to its hype.


4 thoughts on “11 Years to complete a project, plenty of time…maybe not.

  1. I think Greece ran into similar issues when hosting the 2004 Olympics. They had so many years to plan, yet they were barely able to finish the stadiums. When they were done, they were broke.

    However, I think with Qatar, the oil money keeps them in good financial position, and it probably helps them spend more money on further developing their country. It’s good to see a country with a very small world-presence getting so much media attention going forward. As far as a profit is concerned, I know London scaled back some stadium projects in favor of some temporary facilities that seemed to work out well during the Olympics. Maybe some countries in future bids could consider looking into that. I know a lot of the facilities in South Africa go completely unused these days.

  2. I believe the countries are awarded the right to host the Olympics and World Cup so far in advance as a result of the magnitude of the project. The time, effort and resources needed require a great deal of planning to host a successful event. I don’t fault Qatar for the lack of developing buildings and other infrastructures at this state in the process. This presumes they are spending their current time analyzing RFPs and creating implementation and risk management plans.

  3. I think your post addresses three major issues in project management, time, money and talent. Qatar is a wealthy country but they aren’t relying on their money. Yes the money will be important should they fall behind schedule but they are using the World Cup to give their country training and marketable skills. They have time and money and they are ensuring talent and resources are also available.

  4. Interesting read. I agree that financially Qatar will be well off with regard to making sure the project doesn’t steer off track too much, but this method might not generate much profit for them. I think Qatar is taking an important step by looking to project management training to embark on a project of this magnitude. By outlining timelines and schedules early on they’ll be able to identify any potential obstacles or issues and get them addressed as soon as possible. By doing this they’ll be able to get the infrastructure in place that will be required to meet their deadlines.

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