Stadium cooling work to go ahead

March 20, 2015 9:30 am

                                                        Hassan Al Thawadi

DOHA: Qatar said it heartily welcomes FIFA Executive Committee’s decision to hold 2022 World Cup in November-December in pleasant weather and reiterated its resolve to make the event memorable.

The organising committee, though, added that despite the winter schedule, it will go ahead with stadium cooling plans for use of the unique outdoor sporting facilities by Qatar’s future generations.

“We will continue with our plans to develop the cooling system for the stadiums. There will be cooling inside and the open areas of the stadiums,” said Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, QNA reports from Zurich. He said the stadium cooling technology is exceptional and will leave behind a legacy.

He said 12 stadiums are being built for 2022 World Cup, out of which five will be new and the remaining seven will be upgraded.

The total cost of building new stadiums and upgrading the existing ones to world and FIFA standards will be $4.2bn.

The new stadiums will have solar-powered cooling systems in and out so that even during hot and humid days, spectators can enjoy matches in pleasant temperatures.  “Work on the cooling system has begun and enough investments have been made in research and technology development,” he said.

Sliding global oil prices notwithstanding, Qatar is committed to spending $200bn on infrastructure development over the next 10 years and that includes an extensive railway system with Greater Doha Metro, roads and expressways, playgrounds and stadiums, housing and hotels.

Qatar had a budget surplus of around $28bn until last January despite the fact that crude rates began tumbling in the middle of 2014. Al Thawadi, also CEO, Local Organising Committee (LOC) was in Zurich with a Qatari delegation during FIFA executive committee meeting yesterday.

The main job of LOC is to coordinate with FIFA to hold the 2022 event, while the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy was set up by Emir

H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani last year and its job is to create the best conditions to host the world’s greatest sporting event. Al Thawadi said coordination among the three key panels — FIFA, LOC and the Supreme Committee — will now be accelerated.

He said Qatar has inked a deal with the Interpol to ensure safety and security in the country during the event. It was signed on the sidelines of 81st general assembly of the Interpol in Italy recently. He said Qatar has announced earlier that it is ready to host the event in summer or winter as decided by FIFA. “We will comply with all decisions of FIFA with regard to the 2022 event, and we began making preparations for it since we were given the right to host it in late 2010.”

Qatar will show to the world that 2022 World Cup will be one of the best ever held in its history.

About the 28-day schedule of the tournament, he said it is tight but it will be held smoothly and beautifully. “We will continue to make announcements of plans to build one stadium after the other. Soon, plans for Al Rayyan Stadium will be announced.”

This year, plans to build several stadiums will be made public, he said. Soccer fans the world over had been waiting for the announcement by FIFA about the schedule of the event. “They must be excited now.”

The working committee of FIFA had met in Doha last month and recommended that the event should be held in November-December. The suggestion was made since temperatures are high in Qatar during the summer months. The decision by FIFA to change the schedule to winter will have an impact on world soccer. This is the first time since the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930 that the event’s schedule has been changed from summer to winter for 2022, an expert told this daily

About the Author

Muhammad Tahim is the Sports Editor for Qatar Chronicle. A die-hard football fan and amateur tennis player, he roots for Manchester United, Barcelona, Paris St. Germain and Novak Djokovic.

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