Iraq cabinet removes financial obstacles on Al Rusafa stadium project



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Iraq Al Rusafa stadium

The financial obstacles that plagued Baghdad’s Al Rusafa Stadium project seems to have been overcome by the Iraqi government following high level meetings between government officials and the project’s Spanish contractor.

The state-funded stadium is being built by Spanish contractor Triarena at a cost of $100 million, but Iraq’s economic crisis due to falling oil prices has taken a heavy toll on the project. The stadium is 40 per cent complete but delay in payments had put its schedule out of place.

A Triarena delegation led by its CEO Hassan Al Khayer met Iraq’s Minister of Youth and Sports Abd Al Hussain Abtan on January 26 this year and briefed him on the challenges being faced in the construction of the stadium due to the financial issues. “Both parties agreed to greater cooperation in order to continue the work and to finish it (the project) in due time,” says a media release by Triarena.

This was followed by the matter being discussed at the Cabinet meeting, chaired by Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, on February 23. An immediate decision was taken to release funds worth $14 million for the stadium project, with a pledge to ensure the remaining payments on time by 2018. Following the meeting, Abtan stated that the Council of Ministers have approved the budget for the stadium and asked the Ministry of Finance to ensure the financing of the project in coordination with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Besides the 30,000-seater main Al Rusafa Stadium, the project is being designed to include two additional training fields in the complex. One of the sports training fields will host 2.000 spectators whereas the second one will host 500 spectators. The project also includes athletic tracks, and a 4-star hotel with 50 rooms.

According to the information available on Triarena’s official website: “The construction of the whole Al Rusafa Stadium is done by using prefabricated building systems for the structure, the stands, the enclosure and the auxiliary buildings. The main stadium has a rectangular shape with slightly curved sides and rounded corners. It is conformed to FIFA requirements.”

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