World Cup

Qatar says summer World Cup still on

Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (L) and Sepp Blatter (R).
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The Qatar organising committee are adamant they will be able to stage the 2022 World Cup in summer as planned.

The Middle Eastern nation was awarded the tournament by FIFA in a surprise decision three years ago.

And there have been widespread calls for the World Cup that year to therefore be switched to the winter because summer temperatures can top 45 degrees in Qatar.

However, although they are open to any switch, the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee say they will utilise air-conditioned stadiums if the tournament remains scheduled for the summer.

The committee said in a statement on Friday: "We bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in summer and are fully committed and working hard to deliver on these promises.

"If the international football community asks us to move the timetable for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar we are able to do so.

"But the development and implementation of environmentally-friendly cooling technologies remains an important legacy issue for our nation, region and many countries with similar climates.

"Creating comfortable conditions for public areas, walkways, training pitches and stadiums both during and after the World Cup means being able to play and watch football matches in summer throughout the country.

"Cooling technology has existed at Jassim bin Hamad (Al Sadd) Stadium since 2008. This June, the stadium (in Doha) hosted a FIFA World Cup qualifier in cool and comfortable conditions.

"We are now in the process of developing and perfecting sustainable cooling technologies to ensure that our Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup stadia, training grounds and fan zones offer the optimal temperature for players and fans to enjoy the games."

However, there remain concerns about how supporters will cope with the extreme temperatures away from the football grounds.

And, on Thursday, UEFA gave their full support to the idea of playing the tournament in the winter.

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