Design to feature shaded spectator stands cooled between 24ºC and 28ºC and a natural grass pitch cooled to 26ºC
Qatar has begun work on addressing the first of many doubts regarding its ability to host the FIFA World Cup 2022.
To counter concerns regarding extreme summer temperatures, the country recently released designs for a new soccer stadium, which is inspired by a traditional fishing boat and has a cooled pitch.
FIFA had earlier launched a consultation process to consider moving the tournament, scheduled to be held in the traditional June-July slot, when temperatures in Qatar can reach around 50ºC, to the cooler parts of the year, such as November-December.
Players’ union FIFPro said it would urge its members not to take part if the tournament is played in Qatar’s summer, even if air-conditioning is installed in the stadiums.
In the blueprint released by Qatar’s 2022 Supreme Committee, the stadium in the Al-Wakrah region, 15 km (10 miles) from the capital Doha, is expected to feature shaded spectator stands cooled between 24ºC and 28ºC and a natural grass pitch cooled to 26ºC. The plan mentioned it would incorporate ‘shading, aerodynamic and mechanical cooling components’, but did not specify the workings of the cooling system.
“Al-Wakrah is the first of six stadiums already in the latter stages of the design process,” said Hassan al-Thawadi, the general secretary of the 2022 committee. “Our committee has issued 10 major tenders to the market encompassing project and design managers and stadium-operation consultants.”
He added the stadium, with a capacity of 40,000 people would be ready by 2018, added the Zawya report.
Al-Thawadi also said the committee would apply all clauses in its workers’ charter to ensure workers rights would not be ignored.
“If there are any deaths above zero that would be unacceptable for us,” he said.