Qatar 2022 'should play night matches'

FIFA official makes suggestion in latest bid to avoid scorching summer heat in Gulf state
Qatar is planning 12 state-of-the-art stadia for the 2022 World Cup.
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 07 Jul 2012 09:31 AM

A FIFA official has called on organisers of Qatar's 2022 World Cup tournament to consider playing matches late at night to avoid the summer heat.

In comments published by PA Sport, the organisation's British vice-president Jim Boyce said anything should be considered to alleviate the severe heat conditions.

Temperatures in the day in Qatar can reach 50 degrees Centigrade and Boyce said a 10pm kick-off time for football in Qatar could help with the heat - and be good for television scheduling in the UK.

Boyce, from Northern Ireland, told the Press Association: "The FIFA executive committee decided, before my time, that the tournament is going to be held in Qatar and anything should be considered to try to alleviate the severe heat conditions."

He added: "We have heard that there is an intention to provide air conditioning in the stadiums but we should also look at anything that will improve spectator comfort and player comfort.

"People cannot play in 50 degree heat so if that's to be one of the compromises then that's something we will have to look at."

Both UEFA president Michel Platini and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer have called for the 2022 World Cup to be played in January instead because of the heat.

In May, the former UK attorney general advising FIFA on reform said football’s new investigative body will probably examine the bids that won Russia and Qatar World Cup hosting rights.

The race to stage the 2018 and 2022 editions of the $5bn World Cup drew attention to weaknesses in FIFA’s internal governance procedures after several members of its decision-making board were accused of wrongdoing.

“It does need to be looked into,” Peter Goldsmith, a partner at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, said in an interview.

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