Well there you go: the 2018 Fifa World Cup will be in Russia and the 2022 Fifa World Cup will be in Qatar. We’re all in agreement in the official CrunchGear chat room this morning: it’s more exciting this way. Would you rather spend your summer holiday on the Baltic Sea coast or in rainy Liverpool? (Nothing against Liverpool, mind.) I, for one, think it’s far more interesting, at least from an international perspective, to host the tournament smack dab in the Middle East than, say, New Jersey. You have to remember: it’s an international game, and Fifa these days is very keen on using the tournament to spread the seeds of soccer (and all that that entails) all over the world. It’s a societal thing as much as anything else.
Oh, right: this is a tech site. Believe it or not, there is a tech story here, specifically as it relates to the Qatar bid. Here’s a hint: how can you possibly host a World Cup during the middle of the summer in the Middle East? Doesn’t it get, you know, hot there?
Apparently Qatar will deploy some sort of air cooling technology inside the stadiums in order to make sure the players don’t collapse from heat exhaustion. You can’t have Messi & Co. running around in 30-degree Celsius temperatures for 90 minutes.
Well, I think Messi will be 34 by the time the 2022 World Cup comes around, so I’m not sure it’ll exactly be him running around out there.
The cooling technology will be able to reduce the temperature on the pitch by as much as 20 degrees Celsius.
Says the Qatari bid’s Web site (the site is slammed right now, so give it a bit):
Each of the five stadiums will harness the power of the suns rays to provide a cool environment for players and fans by converting solar energy into electricity that will then be used to cool both fans and players at the stadiums. When games are not taking place, the solar installations at the stadia will export energy onto the power grid. During matches, the stadia will draw energy from the grid. This is the basis for the stadiums’ carbon-neutrality. Along with the stadiums, we plan to make the cooling technologies we’ve developed available to other countries in hot climates, so that they too can host major sporting events.
So not only will Qatar pay for the development of this technology, but they’ll also give (sell?) to other hot-climate countries so they, too. can host international tournaments.
Oh, and this technology won’t just be used inside the stadiums. Nope, they’ll also be used all over the country, at Fan Zones, training areas, you name it.
And a big laughing-out-loud to some of the guys on Fox Soccer Channel (I was watching their live coverage) bemoaning the fact that Qatar gets to host the tournament, complaining about how oil and gas bought the tournament[s]. Sounds like sour grapes to me.
Besides, now you get to experience a different culture for a month. What is so terrible about that? It’s the World Cup, people!