Qatar and the World Cup: The 'Heat' is On
Image Credit: Wikicommons

Qatar and the World Cup: The 'Heat' is On


There is still almost a decade to go but the debate over Qatar’s 2022 World Cup is showing no signs of dissipating

The Middle-Eastern nation won the race to host the world’s biggest sporting event in December 2010, beating off competition from the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

Qatar’s bid was spectacular but most assumed it would fail because of the simple fact that summer in Doha sees the temperature rising into the mid to upper 40 degrees Celsius.

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Air-conditioned stadia will be in operation to make things nice and fresh for the players and the fans that attend the game but still, there are concerns over just how hot it will be.

There have again been calls to hold the tournament in the winter. At that time of year, the temperatures in the daytime are lower than much of Europe in the summer and the evenings are pleasantly warm.

Michel Platini, the president of UEFA, Europe’s Confederation and the second most powerful man in the world of football, is a fan of moving the dates.

“I hope it will be held in winter," he said. "We have to go to Qatar when it is good for everybody to participate. What is better for the fans?"

The stumbling block that is always mentioned is the European domestic calendar. With the majority of the best players in the world playing in the big European leagues, the timing could be a problem.

World Cups are played in summer in between European seasons. A winter tournament would be a different thing entirely and would cause some major rescheduling.

And with these leagues increasingly reliant on the huge amounts of money paid by the broadcasters, it remains to be seen how these media companies would react to the prospect of a major move.

The Frenchman thinks that something can be worked out.

"In 10 years we can manage to decide how we can postpone the season for one month," he said.

"January is difficult for the World Cup because you have the Winter Olympic Games. If we stop from November 2 to December 20, it means, instead of finishing in May, we stop in June. It is not a big problem. It is for the good of the World Cup, the most important competition in the world.”

And what about the organizers? The line from Qatar has always been  the same.

"Our position hasn't changed. We've always reiterated that we entered the bidding race with the intention of hosting in the summer and are continuing with our plans to deliver a World Cup in the summer unless there is a unified consensus among the international football community for alternative plans,"  a Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee spokesman said CNN reported.

We’ll see.

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