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Heat is on for 2022 FIFA World Cup to go to Qatar
Qatar looks to have emerged at the head of the pack of nations bidding for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
With world football governing body FIFA set to make its hosting decision for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on Thursday, it appears that the legacy of a World Cup in Qatar has won over the voting members of FIFA's Executive Committee.
At the core of the bid are a series of grand temperature controlled stadium developments but Qatarâs bid would appear to be about more than just football.
To combat temperatures that can exceed 40°C during the tournamentâs staging, the Qatari bid promises "world-first, carbon-neutral technology" that will cool venues, fan zones and training site.
As Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, son of the Emir of Qatar and Chairman of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Bid Committee explains, "our legacy will be football in Qatar being played all year round and our having progressed revolutionary ideas and revolutionary technology that can be used in any other country."
Al-Thani recently explaine that Qatar's World Cup Stadiums would 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.
"(This) 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."
Beyond the technology, a World Cup in Qatar presents an unprecedented opportunity awaits to forge fresh, enhanced understanding with the Arab world. With a successful tournament serving as a highly effective rebuttal of extremism, the event could help in regional rapprochement.
Even if Israel were to qualify for the event, the Qataris are adamant that they and their supporters would receive warm welcomes.
While arguments are put forward about Qatar being essentially a one-city nation, staging the event in and around the city of Doha would remove the hassle of constantly changing hotel rooms and draining cross country travel. With all 12 stadiums in close proximity to each other, fans could attend three matches a day.
In-between games, the country offers fabulous beach-front hotels, ancient souks, modern shopping malls and the excellent Museum of Islamic Art. Slightly more adventurous types might head into the desert.
Crime in Qatar is nearly nonexistent, while cultural differences over alcohol would probably seek restrictions on its consumption would be lifted inside the fan zones.
In addition, in an inspired piece of Qatari benevolence one of the eventâs air-conditioned stadium would be dismantled and exported to a poor, hot country, for reconstruction, with further chunks of other grounds, most notably seats, distributed to other needy developing nations.
Qatar's Aspire Zone, the site of the Khalifa International Stadium, and the central location for Qatar's 2022 FIFA World Cup if their bid is successful was profiled in the November/December 2009 issue of Australasian Leisure Management.
Stadia to be built include:
Al-Shamal - a 45,120 capacity stadium located in the north of Qatar, on the edge of the Arabian Gulf. The stadiumâs bowl shape design is derived from the âtraditional dhowsâ â the local fishing craft.
Al-Khor - a 45,330 capacity stadium located in the north east of Qatar, set in its own park setting and designed as a stunning asymmetrical seashell motif. Some spectators will be able to see the Gulf from their seats while players will benefit from a flexible roof providing shade over the pitch.
Al-Wakrah – a 45,000 capacity stadium located in the south of Qatar, set in a park setting that includes a themed swimming pool, spa zone, sports facilities and shopping mall. The main stadium entrance will face onto a plaza that will create a sense of one large extended park.
Two existing stadiums would be expanded if Qatar wins the right to stage the 2022 World Cup.
Al Rayyan – located 20 kilometres northwest of Doha, its current capacity will double to 44,740 via a modular upper tier stand. A special membrane will double as a giant screen on the side of the stadium projecting flash match updates and tournament information.
Al Gharafa – located close to Doha, its current capacity will also double to 44,740 via a modular upper tier stand. The stadium facade will be made up of the colours of all the countries qualifying for Qatar 2022, symbolising the friendship, mutual tolerance and respect of the FIFA World Cup and Qatar.
1st July 2010 - BUCKLEY DEFENDS AUSTRALIA’S FIFA WORLD CUP BID
19th May 2010 - WORLD CUP STADIA AND INFRASTRUCTURE TO COST $2.48 BILLION
21st January 2010 - TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED STADIA AT THE HEART OF QATAR’S FIFA WORLD CUP BID
3rd February 2009 - AUSTRALIA ENTERS RACE FOR FIFA WORLD CUP
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