With its eyes set on hosting the 2022 World Cup, Qatar is trying to convince a team of FIFA inspectors visiting since Tuesday that it can overcome the scorching heat by cooled carbon neutral stadiums.
“All the stadiums presented in our portfolio are environmentally friendly as they use advanced technology with zero Carbon Dioxide emmissions,” president of Qatar 22 Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani told reporters.
“We will honor our promise” to provide air-conditioned stadiums in the country where temperatures exceed 45 degrees celsius (113 degrees fahrenheit) in summer, Sheikh Mohammed said in a joint press conference with the head of FIFA’s delegation, Chilean Football Federation president Harold Mayne-Nicholls.
On the first day of their visit, the delegation attended a local league match at the one of the emirate’s first air-conditioned football fields named Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
“Climate has never been an issue for Qatar,” the 2022 bid committee’s executive director Hassan al-Thawadi had said earlier.
“The experience of air-conditioned stadiums has succeeded a while ago and we are preparing to start a second generation of air-conditioned stages which will be solar powered,” he said.
The cooling will not be restricted to the football fields but will cover the open spaces around the stadiums, he added.
Qatar launched its bid to host the 2022 World Cup in May, emphasising the theme that to award football’s showcase event to a Middle East country for the first time would promote better understanding of the region.
The ambitious campaign was kicked off by Sheikh Mohammed in front of a 50,000 sell-out crowd at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha for the Emir Cup Final.
During an April 24 visit to the gas-rich emirate, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that Qatar could well become the first World Cup hosts from the Arab world.
“What matters are the guarantees the bidding country has to offer and on that count I have no doubt that Qatar will put on the table all that is needed to host the event,” Blatter said.
Qatar has already experienced hosting a major sports event with the 2006 Asian Games – Doha failed to make the short list for the race to host the 2016 Summer Olympics – and the country already enjoys an impressive array of top class sports facilities.
Countries currently bidding to host the 2018 event are the United States, England, Russia, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands.
Bids for 2022 have been received from Australia, England, the Belgium-Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Russia, Spain-Portugal and the United States.
The next World Cup will take place in Brazil in 2014.
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