KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The searing desert heat of a Middle East summer will be no obstacle to Qatar hosting a World Cup finals, the Gulf State’s bid chief said on Tuesday while promising new heat-confounding technologies.
Qatar hopes to stage the 2022 soccer extravaganza and painted an alluring picture to the sport’s insiders meeting in the Malaysian capital this week.
“It will be hot, but not too hot,” the bid’s CEO Hassan Al Thawadi told reporters. “We are developing technology which will help with the June and July heat and conditions.”
Temperatures can easily top 40 degrees Celcius (104 Fahrenheit) during the period a World Cup would be staged.
Al Thawadi would not be drawn on whether the technology meant a series of air-conditioned indoor stadiums but said an announcement would be made very soon.
Both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup host nations will be selected by the sport’s global governing body FIFA in December 2010.
South Africa is hosting the 2010 World Cup and Brazil the 2014 tournament.
Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, the United States and joint bids from Portugal-Spain and Belgium-Netherlands are bidding for both the 2018 and 2022 events.
Qatar and South Korea are bidding only to stage the 2022 edition.
“We made an assessment of when we could host a truly historic World Cup,” Al Thawadi said.
“In 2018 we would be ready to stage a very successful World Cup but by ’22 we can guarantee something truly historic — every year counts.”
For either Qatar or South Korea to stand a chance of hosting 2022 they must hope an Asian nation does not win the 2018 Cup as FIFA regulations demand regional rotation.
Qatar are pushing their bid on the merits of technology development, an historic first global sporting event for the Middle East and the compact nature of the plan.
Rather than being a disadvantage, Al Thawadi said Qatar’s size — a peninsula of 11,437 sq. km — would prove a great benefit to fans.
“People will be able to remain in one city throughout the Cup. They will be able to travel to other cities to watch matches and then return to where they are staying, without worrying about accommodation.
“Hosting the World Cup in the Middle East will allow everybody from the East and the West to come together and celebrate.”
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