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Qatar Showcases Stadium Cooling Technologies
While a UK Parliamentary inquiry has been scrutinizing Qatar's winning bid for the FIFA 2022 World Cup, the Arabian Gulf nation has been highlighting how its World Cup stadia will utilise new zero carbon cooling technologies to combat Qatar's fierce desert heat during the event.
Some of Qatar's much-hyped stadium cooling systems went on display at the recent 9th World Sport and Environment Conference in Doha later.
Under the motto 'Playing for a Greener Future', the conference was organised by the International Olympic Committee in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program and the Qatar Olympic Committee.
Introducing the technology, Qatar Olympic Committee General Secretary H.E. Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said the conference would stimulate real discussion and provide thought-leadership to the global sports sector.
In a statement Sheikh Saoud explained "sustainability and environmental responsibility are crucial in shaping Qatar's own future.
"As a nation we are proud of our role as world leaders in sustainable technology and we are already transferring this knowledge and experience into the sporting arena through the use of zero carbon, solar technology that will be used to cool the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums and training sites."
Qatar 2022 organisers plan to use 12 stadia for the World Cup. Nine new stadiums are being constructed and three existing venues, including Khalifa Stadium, expanded at a cost of more than $4 billion.
The opening match and final is scheduled for an 86,000-capacity stadium in the new city of Lusail, less than 20 kilometres from downtown Doha.
All the venues will utilise new zero carbon cooling technologies to combat the fierce desert heat in the Gulf state, the country's biggest challenge in its preparations for the first World Cup in the Middle East.
FIFA inspectors visiting Qatar to evaluate the 2022 World Cup bid last September saw some of the second generation outdoor cooling technologies in action. Outdoor air-conditioning is already in place at Doha's Al-Sadd Stadium.
However, the much-vaunted 'revolutionary' cooling technologies for the World Cup are still at the developmental stage.
In its evaluation report, FIFA ranked the bid an overall 'high risk', raising question marks about the experimental nature of the systems, pointing out that they are still to be deployed "in stadiums of a similar size to those used in the FIFA World Cup."
Sheikh Saoud said Doha's bid to host the IAAF 2017 World Athletics Championships would use zero carbon cooling technology in the Khalifa Stadium similar to systems for the World Cup, if successful in its bid for the prestigious track-and-field event.
Sheikh Saoud added "importantly, we are committed to working with sporting and other organisations across the world to share this technology and help ensure sport can be played year-round no matter what the local climate."
Despite controversial calls earlier this year for Qatar and FIFA to move the tournament from the desert heat to the winter months to avoid health risks to players, World Cup organisers are sticking to their bid plans. Such a scenario would have involved radical changes to the international football calendar, while the IOC was also unhappy about a clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics.
3rd December 2010 - QATAR WINS 2022 WORLD CUP BID
29th November 2010 - HEAT IS ON FOR 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP TO GO TO QATAR
1st July 2010 - BUCKLEY DEFENDS AUSTRALIA’S FIFA WORLD CUP BID
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