Qatar 2022 World Cup: The Heated Debate
November 12th, 2013, Emilene Parry

Qatar 2022 World Cup: The Heated Debate

Qatar is due to host the 2022 football World Cup; however there has been some controversy about the feasibility of footballers playing in the summer months due to the high temperatures. Initially, it had been proposed to move the tournament to winter in order to avoid the heat. However, FIFA have since stated that the World Cup will not be moved to January or February 2022 because of the Winter Olympics. Given the controversy surrounding the event, YouGov held a lab to find out what Lab participants felt about Qatar hosting the World Cup during the summer months.

Many participants felt that hosting the 2022 during Qatar summer is a significant problem. Some reasons given by participants included:

“It’s so hot there and it can affect the players and they will not play to their level” Sami, Saudi Arabia

“Hot temperature, humidity” Anon

“No account has been taken in my opinion of the fans and families who will be travelling there and the heat they have to endure outside of air conditioned places and venues” Doug, Dubai

“It’s very simple. Whoever has lived in Qatar in the summer knows how hot it is. The weather is unbearable during the months of June till September. The weather rises from 40'C to 50'C during these months. And you cannot survive without 24/7 air conditioning. It will be a disaster if this World Cup is held in the summer time” SAP, Qatar

“Because we will have many nations from European countries that are not used to such a hot climate and there could be cases of heatstroke, etc. It would only be fair if the World Cup could be moved to winter as there would be not unfair advantage for countries that are used to such weather” Shanaaz, South Africa

“The searing heat will affect greatly the event” Alvin, UAE

“The majority of the countries playing in world cup are Europeans, and they are not accustomed to such extreme weather, secondly it would be extremely difficult for the fans to bear the extreme heat during the summer months and even if the stadiums are air conditioned what about the temperature outside the stadium when fans would like to have a party on the streets after their team wins a match” Anon

“In summer Qatar temperature will exceed more than 40° Celsius. So that will be make many health problems for players and fans. And also if event held up on summer, many people around the globe will not come here” Naaz, Qatar

Lab participants were asked what they felt would be the best solution to the temperature issue. Keeping the tournament in summer and allowing the Qatar organizing committee to develop the stadium air-cooling technology as planned is the option which was supported by the most participants. Participants who selected this option gave the following rationale:

“When Qatar was considered to be the host country for the world cup, this (the air-cooling technology) was promised, so they should live up to it” Juliette, UAE

“Because allowing the tournament to be rescheduled to winter is unfair to other 'hot' countries who were discounted in the process” Doug, Dubai

“Because this is feasible and reasonable solution for both sides” Asma, Qatar

“Because Qatar has promised that they will build Air conditional stadiums. They do have the technology and funds to build the stadium” Chamath, Sri Lanka

The second most preferred option was to move the tournament to winter. Reasons given for this solution included:

“Because both sides FIFA and the Qatar organization will not lose anything, the weather is at the best condition in winter” Omar, Qatar

“Arranging for air cooling of complete stadium is a difficult and costly project, so it is better to shift to winter” Wasim, Qatar

“This only the available option as making the stadiums air-cooling will be very hard and very expensive and will affect the environment badly” Mina, Egypt

As you all know it would be very difficult for fans from traveling during summer and it would be very hard cooling the whole stadium for the players and spectators as well” Archrey, KSA

This is a huge opportunity for Qatar and we all want it to strive and prosperous more. And for the people to enjoy their experience in Qatar, see what this country has to offer. And good weather is vital for that. The winters are very mild here so it will be perfect for everyone” SAP, Qatar

In general almost half of Lab participants supported moving the tournament to winter, however there were around two-fifths who opposed the move.

Lab participants who supported moving the tournament to winter:

“It benefits everyone. Good weather is vital for everyone to enjoy the World Cup and see Qatar’s beauty” SAP, Qatar

“Because it will be easier to handle the weather and enjoy the tournament” Sue, UAE

“It would be better to stage it in winter so the players can play 100% without being bothered by the sweltering heat” Archrey, KSA

Examples of rationale given by participants opposed to the move to winter include:

“It should be kept in its original and normal period where the other leagues etc. can play normally around it without having to reschedule and rebid for the tournament” Doug, Dubai

Qatar has the fund and resources to build AC stadiums” Chamath, Sri Lanka

Qatar can create the infrastructure as needed” Sameer, India

A large majority of the Lab participants felt that this issue should have been addressed before Qatar was awarded the tournament in December 2010. Most participants stated that it is not fair to other countries, who may have applied to host the tournament, to move the tournament timing. The majority agreed that moving the tournament timing will have a negative effect on other European football leagues and that moving the tournament to winter is not ideal for the players.