Environmental & Safety Concerns Create Controversy for World Cup in Qatar

Gita Subramony for Zondits, March 11, 2015

The early planning stage for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been rife with controversy. Allegations of bribery have surrounded the location selection process. Additionally, the exorbitant costs for the event and Qatar’s questionable human rights record have added fuel to the flames.

Another issue is the climate. The World Cup is typically held in the summer and temperatures in Qatar at that time reach dangerous highs, putting athletes and World Cup staff in danger. The country put forth the idea of having stadiums outfitted with advanced cooling systems that make use of solar power for energy. However, building stadiums with this technology is extremely costly and will add to the ballooning event costs. There are serious questions on whether such a system can cool efficiently. Even though the proposed stadiums will use solar power, carbon emissions resulting from significant cooling needs will be high and might not jibe with environmental goals of FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, which is the international governing body of association soccer. Currently, FIFA is considering hosting the tournament over the winter in order to avoid this problem.


Qatar World Cup Stadium Architect Advises Against Air Conditioning Technology

Sport Techie, February 25, 2015

We are less than a year removed from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Yet, recently, people have been talking about not the next World Cup, but the one after that. The 2022 World Cup, set to take place in Qatar has made headlines as of late, and not for good reasons. A FIFA taskforce has recommended that the 2022 World Cup be held in winter to avoid the hot summer temperatures in Qatar. This recommendation is expected to be made offical by FIFA’s executive committee in on 19th and 20th of March.

During the bidding process, Qatar pitched the idea of advanced air conditioning technology that would cool stadiums, training fields, and fan zones to combat the heat. This technology was supposedly going to lower the average temperatures of 41 degrees Celsius in Doha to a more comfortable 23 degrees Celsius.

In order to convince FIFA leaders, a 500-seater prototype stadium was built. Although on a much smaller scale, the prototype showed that they would use solar panels to collect energy from the sun. This energy would then be used to power a chiller to cool the air that would be blown throughout the facilities.

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