19.6 C
Doha
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Report: 2022 World Cup should be moved to winter for spectators’ sake

-

As the debate over the feasibility of holding the 2022 World Cup during Qatar’s searing summer months continues, new research has come out in favor of rescheduling the tournament to the winter.

In a new report published in the International Journal of Biometeorology, researchers asserted that many football fans who turn out for the games could suffer “strong heat stress.”

The report’s authors compared official temperatures recorded at the Doha International Airport between March 1999 and January 2014 with thermal indices such as the Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET), which takes various factors such as humidity and windspeed into account.

Based on its findings, the report recommended that the World Cup be moved from July to sometime between November and February, “when thermally comfortable conditions are much more frequent.”

Data analysis

“Thermal comfort” was defined as the air temperature at which, in a typical enclosed setting (without wind and solar radiation), the energy balance of the human body reaches an equilibrium state of satisfaction.

For the average central European, this occurs when temperatures range from 18C (64F) to 29C (84F), the report states.

However, in Qatar, the daytime mean maximum air temperatures in June and July – the months that the World Cup are usually held – often exceeded 50C (122F).

Additionally, the average daily minimum air temperature did not drop below 30C (86F) during this same time period.

Unsurprisingly, the researchers concluded that, based on thermal comfort levels of the average central European visitor:

“The results show that this kind of event may be not appropriate for visitors, if it is placed during months with extreme conditions.

For Doha, this is the period from May to September, when conditions during a large majority of hours of the day cause strong heat stress for the visitors.”

The report added that the optimum time of year to hold a World Cup in Qatar, in terms of spectator comfort, would be in the winter months, when average temperatures are regularly in the high teens or low 20Cs.

It concluded:

“It is not the aim of this study to show that Doha City is inappropriate for the FIFA 2022 but to find a time period with the most suitable thermal conditions for visitors and tourists. According to the results, this is the time from November to February.”

Debate

The idea of a summer World Cup in Qatar has been debated extensively over the past three years. Even before the country was awarded hosting rights, FIFA’s own technical report stated that it would be too hot to host the tournament in Qatar in June and July.

The world’s governing football body has not yet officially decided when the 2022 matches will be played, but the organization’s President Sepp Blatter has said it was “probable” that the games would be rescheduled for the winter.

For its part, Qatar’s World Cup organizing body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL), has said it is prepared to host the tournament in either season.

Meanwhile, the SCDL has been experimenting with environmentally-friendly cooling technology to be used throughout its stadiums, training grounds, public areas and walkways in a bid to make the environment more tolerable for athletes and visitors.

A prototype of one of these cooling systems was successfully employed in the open-air fan zone at Katara Cultural Village in July, during screenings of 2014 World Cup matches.

Hosting controversy

The weather is just one of a number of controversies Qatar has faced with regards to the World Cup.

Earlier this year, the Sunday Times published a series of articles alleging that the country illegally lobbied FIFA Executive Committee members with cash, parties and gifts in an attempt to win their support.

FIFA’s ethics committee has also spent the past 18 months investigating bribery claims around the 2018 and 2022 bids.

A report is expected to be submitted to the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee next month, although its findings may not be made public.

Meanwhile, other media reports have focused on the plight of migrant workers, which Qatar is reliant on to build the stadiums, road and rail projects in the run-up to the World Cup.

In response, Qatar has commissioned at least two reports that have made numerous recommendations for change, particularly to the sponsorship (kafala) system.

Earlier this year, Qatar proposed changes to system that would make it easier for expats to leave the country and change jobs, but stopped short of abolishing its system of exit visas and no-objection certificates for its foreign workforce.

However, the proposals have yet to be implemented.

Thoughts?

20 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
20 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ben
Ben
6 years ago

Here we go again…….
On the plus side, a winter WC would mean we would be able to congregate in large groups, drinking, singing with our tops off in popular public areas……

Diego
Diego
6 years ago

The stadiums they have planned will help with the heat/dust factor.I have found the dust to be more of an uncomfortable problem than the heat.In any event the WC is 8 years away and I feel changing to a winter one will no doubt cause critics to scream,but by not wanting an adjustment like that could cause regional difficulties and limit other would be hosts.It would be nice to know the situation that would happen after the 2022 WC in Qatar as Qatar is a small Country and the amount of hotel space needed after WC,would be quite a bit less than during.Of course one has no solution for fans who may not heed any heat advisories and perfer to persue beer drinking in excess.

expat viewer
expat viewer
6 years ago

there is goes!!…

Kahuna
Kahuna
6 years ago

Here’s my dream I had last night: somewhere next year they will take the world cup away from Qatar, before any of the proposed changes are implemented. Everyone’s happy, Qatar can continue their slavery system and the world taught them a lesson by removing the WC.

sadam
sadam
6 years ago

dumb idiots actually wasted valuable research & time , our forefathers would have been laughing their assss off for stating the obvious & not using common sense at all just to figure out that winters are more favorable to guests.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

If we leave aside the allegations of corruption in respect to the award of the WC and we look at the viablity of the WC in this region, then a winter world cup is a must. If you do not entertain the fact of a winter world cup that means many countries will not have the opportunity to host a WC ever and that seems deeply unfair to me. I think that the WC should go to new countries as it is a truly global game.

However I am still waiting for the 2022 Committee to sue The Times and the The Telegraph in the UK for libel as they say the allegations have no merit. Still no action from them, what are they scared of if it is all lies?

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I understand the point that you make about fairness for other countries however, there are countries that will never host the winder Olympics. Perhaps with technology moving forward they will have the ability to make the snow and keep it frozen but would anyone want the Olympics held in a large Ski Dubai type place. There is no problem with a Winter World Cup per say except for the fact that it effects other leagues and television rights around the world. The goal posts were moved after the event. – (get it – “goal posts” ha ha.)

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

I don’t think that is a fair comparison. Football is very playable in Qatar in the winter, however a Winter Olympics is never feasable here as they don’t have any mountains or snow.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Hi Mimh, my point here is not that football cannot be played here. It can and it is, but to have it played here many other sporting events and national leagues will be affected by the change. That is the problem and the reason why some places may never be able to host the competition.

Turbohampster
Turbohampster
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Don’t think anyone would disagree with your point in principle but….

Qatar bid for and was awarded the rights to host a winter world cup. No one would have a problem if the bid was to hold it in winter.
If Qatar won the bid based on merit, why is it necessary for FIFA to continually move the goalposts (pun intended) to make the World Cup compatible with Qatar???
This combined with the fact that World Cup hosting rights have never been awarded so far in advance, which was obviously required by the Qatar bid in order to build the infrastructure. Things start to look very fishy indeed

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago

In a new report published in the International Journal of Biometeorology, researchers asserted that many football fans who turn out for the games could suffer “strong heat stress.”

LOL, took them so long to figure that out. Gotta love these experts and their reports.

sadam
sadam
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

They should come , enjoy & EXPERIENCE Summer , they get to experience first hand how maltreated slaves suffer , fall off buildings or collapse due to heat stroke

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

Impressive research with groundbreaking findings… Maybe they should also warn fans going to watch football matches in Europe during winter time to wear warm clothes.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Hold on. Let me see if I can get some research funds alloted towards that subject. Be back in 3 years if I am successful.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Will fans actually come anyway? Like I don’t know if the authorities actually get it, but the entertainment, carnival atmosphere etc are a big part of the World Cup event. Go out to the Pearl and see how much carnival and fun that lemon is,……it could be a very vibrant, fun, entertainment, dining and night life destination…..but it is possibly the world most expensive walking and running track for the few residents who actually live there….

Samuel
Samuel
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Not to mention the sweltering heat and the lack of decent transportation to allow people to move from one area to another. Unfortunately Qatar doesn’t get it, it wants to be a Dubai and spends like Dubai, but keeps the rules and organizing very Saudish, and you end up with “Qatar”.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Samuel

Very well put.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago

This is great… “new research has come out in favor of rescheduling the tournament to the winter”. New research?? NEW?!?! A monkey could tell you it is hot as heck here in the summer… a 5 year old could look up summer temperatures on Wikipedia over the past decade; how on earth is this new research?

Mr. B
6 years ago

Rather obvious, eh?

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

By “spectators” read the very privileged and rich and FIFA cronies who can afford the air fare and limited 5″ accommodation which will charge astronomical prices during the WC.. “Spectators” as understood for other WC’s will not be prepared to pitch their tents in the sand or drive their campervans through warzones..

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Vaccine Passport?: Where you can travel if you’ve been vaccinated

0
Have you been vaccinated against COVID-19? Here are some destinations that don't require you to quarantine! Qatar's health authorities on Thursday confirmed residents that have...

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.