Bin Hammam hits back over WCup heat fears in Qatar

FIFA executive Mohamed Bin Hammam has hit back at suggestions by

American counterpart Chuck Blazer that Qatar is too hot to host the

2022 World Cup.

Blazer said last week that while Bin Hammam’s Qatar can

air-condition its stadiums, ”I don’t see how you can air-condition

an entire country.”

Blazer’s comments were backed by FIFA’s technical report, which

said that taking the tournament to Qatar for the first time would

be a ”potential health risk” because of the heat. Average

temperatures during the tournament would be 106 degrees.

But Bin Hammam of Qatar has pointed out to Blazer that extreme

temperatures are also an issue in the United States, which hosted

the tournament in 1994.

”When my counterpart (Blazer) asked me about my response to the

news that my country’s bid was once more criticized due to Qatar’s

hot weather and the danger it may contribute toward players’ and

officials’ health, I reminded him of two things,” Bin Hammam wrote

on his official website.

”One: the technological developments and solutions that Qatar

would apply to its stadiums in order to overcome the challenges of

the heat. Two: whether or not he remembers the 1994 World Cup in

the United States, where some of the matches were played at midday

in temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees

Fahrenheit).”

Bin Hammam claimed that ”American fans forgot about the heat,

and yet, (organizers) applied for another World Cup posting in less

than 16 years from the time they last hosted.”

The American bid has been helped over the weekend by Major

League Soccer announcing that it will investigate aligning its

schedule with football’s international calendar, responding to

criticism from FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Blatter has said the current March-October season is the

overwhelming reason the MLS cannot compete with top leagues in

Europe. Aligning with the international calendar would help MLS

teams attract top talent – and avoid losing players to national

team duty for World Cup qualifiers and other friendly matches.

”We’re going to do a study, we’re going to take the time to get

it right,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said.

Qatar and the U.S. are competing for the right to host the 2022

tournament alongside Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Bin Hammam, Blazer and Blatter are on the FIFA executive

committee that will vote on the 2018 and 2022 hosts in Zurich on

Dec. 2.

The number of voters has been reduced to 22 since Nigeria’s Amos

Adamu and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti were suspended last week for

ethics violations over an undercover investigation by The Sunday

Times newspaper.

FIFA’s ethics committee banned Adamu from all football activity

for three years for allegedly agreeing to take bribes from the

undercover reporters who posed as lobbyists trying to buy

votes.

Temarii, the president of the Oceania confederation, received a

one-year ban for breaching FIFA’s loyalty and confidentiality rules

when he was secretly filmed.

On Monday, FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon said it was

obvious the two members’ remarks were ”not careful,” but he

questioned if their behavior was serious enough to warrant such a

punishment.

”I personally believe the disciplinary measures on the two

executive committee members are excessive,” Chung told reporters

in Seoul.

He said many other executive members have also expressed regret

over the suspension.