Responding to growing concern about its searing summer heat, Qatar has sought to reassure the international football community about the viability of holding the 2022 World Cup in the June and July months.
In a statement released yesterday, the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said it was ready to move the games to winter if necessary, but that it was also ready to host a summer tournament:
“The development and implementation of environmentally-friendly cooling technologies remains an important legacy issue for our nation, region and many countries with similar climates.
Creating comfortable conditions for public areas, walkways, training pitches and stadiums both during and after the World Cup means being able to play and watch football matches in summer throughout the country.”
It added that it has been experimenting with cooling technology since 2008, and is working to develop ways to keep stadia, training grounds and fan zones at “optimal temperatures” for fans and players.
Meanwhile, Europe’s football governing body said on Thursday that it did not think the 2022 World Cup should be played in the summer. Instead, UEFA’s 54-member organization appears to favor a January tournament, in order to avoid conflicting with the Champions League games.
But it is not clear whether that means the games would be held in January of 2022 or 2023.
The English Premier League, a collection of some of the world’s most popular football teams, remains opposed to a date change due to the scheduling conflicts it would cause.
And FIFA, which will meet in two weeks to discuss rescheduling the cup, has been warned by the International Olympic Committee to ensure that any changes not conflict with its winter games.
Credit: Photo by Sam Agnew