Qatari authorities are insisting that they will be able to hold the 2022 World Cup in the summer because they have the technology to combat the heat but are open to host the competition in the winter the FIFA wants.
Qatar got the rights after saying it plans to install air-cooling technology to ensure matches are played at optimal temperatures.
This comes after FIFA executive committee members including European soccer chief Michel Platini and Michel D’Hooghe, the chairman of FIFA’s medical committee, from stating their preference for a change because of the summer heat in the country.
FIFA has said Qatar, where temperatures rarely fall below 37 degrees in June and July, must seek to move the tournament before any changes can be considered.
The Qatar 2022 Organising Committee insists the technology they have planned to put in place to deal with the heat during the tournament will be effective to assuage the concerns of their critics by saying this can also help countries in hot climates to host matches.
“We committed considerable resources during the bidding process to prove that the cooling technology (which will cool open-air stadiums, training grounds and outdoor fan areas) works.
“The technology is already in use since 2008 at Al Sadd Stadium. During the bid we demonstrated that this technology could be powered by renewable energy,” the Qatar 2022 Organising Committee statement read.
“Our bid was based on the sole intent of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the summer. FIFA’s technical inspectors attended a Qatari League match at Al Sadd Stadium and experienced the cooling systems.
“The inspection team also visited the prototype stadium that we built at considerable cost to demonstrate that cooling could be implemented with renewable energy.
“We are offering solutions to keep players and fans cool and comfortable – and developing those solutions to ensure that they are environmentally sustainable.
“We will forge ahead with implementing and developing this technology. Our commitment to this is grounded in the legacy it will offer for Qatar and countries with similar climates. It will enable sport to be played 12 months of the year.
“The application of this technology is not limited to stadiums or sports venues. It can be applied in public spaces, so outdoor life can be enjoyed all year round, regardless of climate.”
Qatar says they will be ready to hold the tournament in their winter season of Janaury if the world governing body FIFA wants them to.
“Concerning the timing of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we have always reiterated that we bid on the parameters that we would host in the summer of 2022. Various figures from the world of football have raised preferences for hosting in the winter,” Qatar 2022 organisers said in their statement.
“We are ready to host the World Cup in summer or winter. Our planning isn’t affected either way, as we are committed to the cooling technologies for legacy reasons, as outlined above.
“We are progressing rapidly with our plans, have achieved many of our milestones and have committed significant time, money and resources toward implementing our vision.
“Our first new stadium breaks ground this year and five further stadiums are in different stages of planning. We will be making further announcements in the near future concerning our progress regarding infrastructure.”
Qatar beat bids from the U.S., Japan and Australia in 2010 to get rights to sports’ most-watched event in a vote by executives at soccer’s governing body, FIFA.
If the tournament is moved it may lead to protests not only from the losing bidders but the several countries particularly in Africa, Asia and Middle East who openly supported their bid which could be damaging for FIFA presdient Sepp Blatter.
Under the rules of the process, potential World Cup hosts were told that they were vying for a competition played in June and July.
Moving the World Cup from its traditional dates in June and July would lead to several disrupted seasons in European leagues and some leagues across the globe.