23 Sep 2014

Qatar adamant they'll host 2022 World Cup

7:04 am on 23 September 2014

Qatar remains adamant it will host the 2022 football World Cup despite a FIFA Executive Committee member suggesting that the tournament will have to move because of scorching temperatures.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Fifa president Sepp Blatter Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Qatar 2022 communications director Nasser Al Khater says in a statement... the only question now is when, not if.... summer or winter, they'll be ready.

Theo Zwanziger, the former German football association chief who now sits on the executive committee of world football's governing body, had said earlier that he felt the tournament would have to be held elsewhere.

He said I personally think that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar.... medics say that they cannot accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these conditions.

FIFA awarded the tournament to the tiny Middle Eastern country in a controversial decision in 2010, with the understanding that it would be held in the summer despite the searing heat.

Although oil and gas-rich Qatar has insisted that timetable is viable thanks to cooling technologies being developed for stadiums, training areas and fan zones, there is still widespread concern over the health of players and visiting fans.

FIFA officials, contacted by Reuters, said Zwanziger was not giving the view of the all powerful Executive Committee.

FIFA spokewoman Delia Fischer says he is expressing a personal opinion and so they will not comment on a personal opinion.

Qatar organisers said they have already proved that cooling technologies that would be used at the World Cup work.

Despite the resources being thrown at high-tech cooling techniques, sceptism about Qatar's ability to stage a World Cup in the summer -- when temperatures can soar into the mid 40s Celsius -- has not gone away.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in May that awarding the World Cup to Qatar was a 'mistake' and the tournament would probably have to be held in the European winter.

FIFA is looking at the option of shifting the tournament to January/February 2022 or November/December 2022 - both of which would be unpopular because of disruption to the domestic seasons in Europe and around the world.