DOHA The Qatar 2022 World Cup organisers have reiterated their commitment to air-cooling technology whatever FIFA may decide about the timing of the finals writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The world federation’s executive commitee meets in Zurich on Thursday and Friday with the issue of Qatar far down the agenda.
President Sepp Blatter has indicated that discussion will concern both whether it should be moved from a summer scheduling and also the issue of conditions for migrant workers in the Gulf state.
The latter issue is not addressed in a statement from the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee. It has, however, insisted that it is ready to host the finals whenever FIFA wishes and will, in any case, maintain the research and application of air-cooling systems.
Interestingly, it includes not only stadia, training camps and fan zones in the sectors of air-cool concern but also “public areas.”
During the bidding campaign in 2010 the then CONCACAF delegate Chuck Blazer remarked that, while the Qataris might cool the stadia, “you can’t air-cool an entire country.”
The statement says:
“We bid for the FIFA World Cup in summer because we saw the opportunity to present solutions for players and fans in our country, and others with similar climates, to enjoy the outdoors in cool, safe and comfortable conditions in the summer months.
“We committed significant time and resources toward proving that we could host the tournament in summer in cool, comfortable and safe conditions.
“If the international football community reaches a consensus to move the event to an alternate date, we are able to accommodate that change. This would not affect our planning and preparation.
“Our commitment to cooling technologies will continue, for without it certain parts of the world will be denied the right to host such events. Qatar already has one cooled stadium at Al Sadd Sports Club, retrofitted in 2008. FIFA’s inspection team visited this stadium and experienced the cooling first-hand.
“In 2010, we constructed a prototype carbon-neutral stadium which utilised renewable energy-powered cooling technologies to cool the stadium, which FIFA’s inspection team also visited.
“We are currently in a period of research and development to implement these environmentally-friendly cooling technologies on a larger scale in our stadiums, training pitches, fan zones and public areas for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”