Is Qatar Too Hot for Football?

Qatar unveils solar stadiums for the world cup 2022

FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, set the soccer world afire during the opening of the Asian Cup when he stated that Qatar would be far too dangerous for the World Cup to be played there during the summer of 2022 as scheduled. He believes that the games will most likely be held in December or January.

One of the main criticisms of Qatar being awarded the World Cup was the fact that during the summer months of June and July, which is the time the Cup is typically held, Qatar weather is regularly over 100 degrees.

When it was first announced they would host the 2022 Cup, Qatar officials assured the world that the heat would not be a problem. They promised five stadiums using green and solar technology for the cooling systems, lowering the temperatures approximately 30 degrees.  They would also donate some of the stadium technologies ‘to countries with less developed sports infrastructure’.

However, numerous doctors and FIFA officials have come forward, stating that the Qatar weather, even with the cooling systems, would make an event like the World Cup extremely difficult for not only the players but also the spectators.

FIFA officials do not believe that Qatar will be able to produce the technology necessary to power and cool the stadiums, fan locations and training/practice facilities.

The larger problem is that if FIFA does allow the 2022 World Cup to be moved to the winter, it would interfere with the Winter Olympics and most importantly the football season for many of the high level leagues, such as the Premiership. Preparation for the Cup is believed to affect 3 seasons of football. The soccer world was already tense about the approval of Qatar as the host of the 2022 Cup, and forcing leagues to change their schedules for 3 years will not help to ease said tensions.

Qatar has tried their best; they have lifted the ban on alcohol in the country, allowing alcohol to be bought, sold and consumed in fan-specific areas.

Officially, Qatar does not recognize Israel, however, if Israel qualifies, they will be allowed to compete in the tournament.

FIFA and Qatari executives have not been on the best of terms either. Qatar is fully devoted to making a summer World Cup work. “We are well equipped to challenge the heat. If FIFA has a different opinion we should not reject it but Qatar won’t be part of that decision,” says Qatari executive committee member, Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Zahir has written for several publications over the years while performing as a spoken word artist.