Qatar promises to 'cool temperatures' for fans during 2022 'summer' World Cup
Qatar's 2022 World Cup organisers have reiterated their commitment over holding the mega football tournament in summer temperatures of up to 41C (105.8F) despite a growing campaign to move it to the winter.
They also promised fans that they would not only successfully develop air-conditioned stadiums but would be able to cool entire neighbourhoods.
Hassan al-Thawadi, the Secretary General of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, also rejected repeated corruption allegations and defended the fan experience at a tournament that will take place in a compact area but amid searing heat, The Guardian reports.
"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. They will be physically cool and they will be cool in every sense," he said.
According to the paper, Qatar is believed to be investing 137 billion pounds over the next 10 years in infrastructure projects before the World Cup and al-Thawadi claimed that cooling technology would be used over wider areas than originally thought.
"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. 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," he said.
Last year the respected stadium designer John Barrow of Populus said the air cooling technology was unsustainable in larger venues. But organisers say the plans are on track, the paper said.
"Populus weren't working on our cooling technology. We've got a prototype coming very soon. It's our commitment, absolutely," said al-Thawadi.