By Pete Wilson
29 April 2010
Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup will rest on no traditional footie bedrocks: it cannot lay claim to a deep footballing culture or heritage; the nation is frankly too hot and uncomfortable in its natural state to stage the event to the satisfaction of the competing sides; and the crowd atmosphere at matches – if England’s recent trip was any guide – could be flat.
Instead the hopes will rest on political braveness – with the claim of helping to unite the world attractive to Sepp Blatter as he seeks a Nobel Peace prize – and on conceptual brilliance, which is where the launch of plans for new stadiums for 2022 comes in.
Full details can be found on the official bid website, but below are a couple of stills that give a flavour of what could be in store at proposed new venues Al Shamal (left, based on a dhow) and Al Khor (seashell), as well as a video of Al Khor.
As for grand gestures, Qatar’s bid team, with its seemingly bottomless pit of funding, says the stadiums will be kept at comfortable temperatures by “zero carbon cooling equipment” using technology that will be given to the world as one legacy of the 2022 World Cup, should it be staged in Qatar.
This is some claim, and one we’ll be interested in hearing more about in due course.
Qatar’s 2022 bid chairman, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani said: “A World Cup in Qatar will leave a powerful and lasting legacy, bringing together nations and cultures through our shared passion for football.
“These plans show just how serious, innovative and focussed we are about hosting a World Cup that will deliver a fantastic experience for players, fans and the media.
“Our stadiums will have zero carbon cooling equipment utilising solar technology to ensure the temperature is no higher than 27 degrees Celsius, ensuring optimum playing conditions and a comfortable environment for fans.
“This same environmentally friendly, carbon-neutral technology will ensure training sites, fan fest and fan zones are also cool and comfortable. What we have unveiled today is a world first, and as part of Qatar’s commitment to delivering an historic legacy we will share this groundbreaking technology with the rest of the world.”