THE FEWER THE BET­TER

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AFTER HAV­ING WORKED SO HARD ON THE BID, WE ASK RUSH­MAN HOW HE FEELS ABOUT QATAR RE­DUC­ING THE NUM­BER OF STA­DI­UMS FROM TWELVE TO EIGHT. “THAT'S OF­TEN THE WAY,” HE SHRUGS.“IN RUS­SIA, FIFA WANTED TO HAVE ONLY EIGHT STA­DI­UMS IN PLACE OF THE PROMISED TWELVE BUT RUS­SIA WANTED AT LEAST TEN BE­CAUSE THEY HAVE A HUGE COUN­TRY AND THEY WANTED TO BUILD. IT'S A CON­TIN­UAL NE­GO­TI­A­TION AND EACH PARTY HAS THEIR OWN REA­SONS. FIFA IS PAR­TIC­U­LARLY CON­SCIOUS OF CRIT­I­CISM OF COUN­TRIES BUILD­ING STA­DI­UMS FOR THE WORLD CUP WHICH ARE LATER NOT BE­ING USED. THERE ARE STA­DI­UMS IN SOUTH AFRICA FALL­ING TO DUST. FIFA DOESN'T WANT THAT HAP­PEN­ING.” HE ALSO SAYS THAT HAV­ING FEWER STA­DI­UMS TO MAN­AGE IS BET­TER FROM AN OR­GAN­ISER'S POINT OF VIEW. “EV­ERY EX­TRA STA­DIUM YOU HAVE IS MORE WORK AND MONEY. NOT JUST BUILD­ING COSTS BUT STAFFING, SE­CU­RITY, TRANS­PORT... IF SOME­ONE COMES TO ME ASK­ING TO RE­DUCE THE OP­ER­AT­ING BUD­GET, I AL­WAYS TELL THEM TO TAKE AWAY A VENUE.”

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