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Qatar says can accommodate winter World Cup

Published: Updated:

The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, responsible for organizing the FIFA World Cup in nine years’ time, said a decision to switch the competition to winter will not affect its planning.

The FIFA Executive Committee is currently meeting in Zurich to discuss the possibilities of switching the competition to winter due to mounting concerns over the summer temperatures in Qatar, which can go up to 50 degrees.

However, the Qatar 2022 committee has reiterated its ability to host the World Cup in the summer, saying it is still committed to providing cooling technologies for stadiums.

“We are currently in a period of research and development to implement these environmentally-friendly cooling technologies on a larger scale in our stadiums, training pitches, fan zones and public areas for the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” said a released statement.

The committee says Qatar has already one cooled stadium at Al Sadd Sports Club, retrofitted in 2008 adding that FIFA's inspection team visited the stadium and experienced the cooling first-hand.

The World Cup usually takes place in June but FIFA President Sepp Blatter admitted that it was a mistake to award a summer event to Qatar, which also led to a controversial plan to switch the football tournament in the winter.

Europe's 54 football nations have said they are prepared to support the switching from the summer heat, and would prefer playing in January.

Qatar won the rights to host to Football tournament for 2022 three years ago, despite the bid being declared “high risk” by FIFA’s own inspection team.