Qatar promises a cool summer tournament
Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organisers have reiterated their commitment to holding the tournament in summer temperatures of up to 41 degrees (105.8F) despite a growing campaign to move it to the winter. They also claimed that not only would they successfully develop air-conditioned stadiums but would be able to cool entire neighbourhoods for fans.
Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary general of the Qatar 2022 supreme committee, also rejected corruption allegations and defended the fan experience at a tournament that will take place in a compact area but amid searing heat. “Fans will come. They will experience a middle eastern World Cup. They will feel safe, they will feel secure, they will feel comfortable and they will have a lot of fun,” he said. “They will be physically cool and they will be cool in every sense.” Qatar is believed to be investing €170 billion in infrastructure projects before the World Cup and al-Thawadi claimed that cooling technology would be used over wider areas than planned.
“There are two cities where the neighbourhoods use active and passive cooling techniques, whether in terms of shading or the way it brings in the wind,” he said. “Blowing in the cooled air is the active aspect but at the same time utilising shading techniques. Part of our commitment is that when fans come in they’ll enjoy their time here. We made that commitment to the world and we can’t back away from it.”
Al-Thawadi said he would continue to plan for a summer tournament unless told otherwise by Fifa but that it was for the “football community” to come to a collective decision.