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Thu 18 Nov 2010 09:53 AM

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Blow to Qatar's 2022 bid as FIFA brands it "high risk"

Gulf country only one of nine bid countries to be branded "high risk" due to summer temps

Blow to Qatar's 2022 bid as FIFA brands it "high risk"
BUILDING STADIUMS: Qatar plans to build nine stadiums and upgrade three in its bid to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup. (Getty Images)
Blow to Qatar's 2022 bid as FIFA brands it "high risk"
Inside the Al Gharafa Stadium, which will be upgraded should Qatar win the right to host the 2022 World Cup.
Blow to Qatar's 2022 bid as FIFA brands it "high risk"
An elevated view is displayed of the 45,330 capacity Al Khor stadium located in the north east of Qatar, a key part of Qatars 2022 FIFA World Cup bid
Blow to Qatar's 2022 bid as FIFA brands it "high risk"
An aerial view is displayed of a 45,000 capacity stadium located in Al Wakrah in the south of Qatar, that includes a themed swimming pool, spa zone and shopping mall. The stadium is one of nine Qatar plans to build under its 2022 FIFA World Cup bid

Qatar’s
bid to host the soccer World Cup is the only one of nine contenders to stage
the event in 2018 or 2022 to receive an overall “high” operational risk rating
from the sport’s governing body.

The
country has set aside $50bn to complete works if it wins the right to become
the first Middle East host of the World Cup, in 2022. An official document sent
by FIFA to its 24-member decision-making body also listed Qatar’s facilities
for teams as “high risk.”

In
a separate FIFA assessment of all bids made public yesterday, the Gulf state’s
suitability to host sport’s most- watched event was questioned because of the
“potential health risk” posed by its summer temperatures - which can reach more
than 46 degrees centigrade (115 degrees Fahrenheit) - and challenges linked to
having 12 stadiums within a 20-mile radius.

“We
recognize that concerns have been expressed about climatic conditions in Qatar
in the summer months,” the bid’s chief executive officer Hassan Al-Thawadi said
in a statement.

“The
precautions referred to in the report have already been put in place with our
proposed air-cooled solutions for stadiums, training sites, fans zones and
other outdoor areas.”

Qatar
2022 had no further comment to add on the document sent to FIFA’s executive
committee.

Russia’s
proposal to stage the 2018 World Cup is the only other bid not to get an
overall “low risk” rating. The country is a “medium risk” operationally amid
concerns over its airports and international connections, which are rated as
high- risk.

“Risks in the operational area that FIFA has
flagged up in their Bid Evaluation Report are already being addressed and will
all be solved well ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, should Russia be awarded
the honor to stage the event,” Andreas Herren, a spokesman for the bid, said in
a statement.

With
the final vote set for December 2, other bidding nations have reacted to the
publication of the evaluation reports by FIFA.

The
US, which is competing with Qatar as well as Australia, Japan, and South Korea
for 2022, hasn’t received government guarantees required to stage the 32-team
tournament.

The
bid committee’s Executive Director David Downs said all those guarantees have
been signed, but were modified because of US law.

“We
have been in conversations with FIFA about this and they are comfortable with
the situation,” Downs said.

Of
the 2022 bidders, the US, South Korea and Australia had more “low risk” marks
than Japan and Qatar in the 17 categories listed in FIFA’s report.

“Our
bid has ticked all of the boxes and our full government guarantees mean we
really will be a ‘no worries,’ friendly and safe option for FIFA and the
football fans of the world,” Football Federation Australia CEO Ben Buckley said
in a statement.

England
and Spain/Portugal’s joint offer posed the overall lowest risk in the
all-European race for 2018. Then came Netherlands/Belgium and Russia. FIFA has
expressed concerns about the practicality of joint bids.

Andy
Anson, chief executive of England’s 2018 effort, said the technical reports
won’t be the only factor in determining who gets the event, which is worth $5bn
according to a report commissioned by the US bid.

“I
don’t know if technical reports can win bids but I know they can lose them,”
Anson told reporters in London yesterday.

England’s
bid has rebounded from the possible damage done to it by revelations in the
Sunday Times newspaper that led to the suspension of two FIFA executive
committee officials, Anson said.

Nigeria’s
Amos Adamu and Tahiti’s Reynald Temarii allegedly told undercover reporters
their votes could be bought. They may be expelled from FIFA today when the
findings of an investigation are announced.

England
last week wrote to the voters to dissociate the bid from the country’s media
after officials including FIFA President Sepp Blatter questioned the methods
used to uncover information. Anson also visited the British Broadcasting
Corp.’s Director General Mark Thompson over a documentary about FIFA that the
broadcaster is planning to run days before the final vote.

“If
they truly believe there’s a journalistic reason for this they could have done
it any time in the last two years. To do it like this is sensationalism,” Anson
said. “I didn’t ask him for anything but all I said was, ‘Here are the
potential implications.’ It’s not very patriotic of the BBC.”

 

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RBH 9 years ago

My advice to FIFA is to have Russia win the bid instead of Qatar as recent misfortunate temperature incidents in nearby UAE has caused the death of an athlete in Fujairah a few months ago. Qatar is no exception when it comes to hot summer temperatures. Therefore, for the safety of the atheletes coming from every corner in the world, the lower the temperatures, the better. This is not to discourage the Qataris or anyone in the Arabian penninsula, but this is the time where we act less patriotic and more "global" as it involves atheletes' healths and lives.

OSAMO 9 years ago

It is a shame that Qatar's bid has suffered this setback as a result of its weather. However, if football is a global sport, then, FIFA should find a way round it. Afte rall, people all over the world still find time to holiday in the peninsula inspite of its "inclement" weather.

I will only suggest that mitigants be put in place to sufficiently moderate the effect of such condition. The truth is gulf's weather will not change because they want to host the World cup.

If the competition could be held in a cold region, it is only fair that other tropical region should not be disadvantaged because of their weather.

Until the FIFA world cup rotates round the continents; it may be misconstrued as a western sport taught to the rest of the world...
Thanks.

Untill the FIFA world cup rotates round the continents; it may be miscontrued as a western sport teached to the rest of the world...

Viva Fifa

edward diaz 9 years ago

Well do your homework first ..... you are saying Quote" My advice to FIFA is to have Russia win the bid instead of Qatar ..."
My dear friend RBH from UAE ... well Russia is not bidding for the 2022 world cup.
Just because you had a mishap in UAE ( please be a bit more specific about the same....if am not mistaken it was the swimming event ....) You cannot comment based on this incident and ask FIFA to shift to RUSSIA instead of Qatar.... sorry be a bit more sportive.... if not supportive.


Dnlsalonga 9 years ago

My Opinion to the discussion, Qatar should NOT be eliminated nor disqualify because of its high temperature during summer months. I am sure that the government of State of Qatar is doing their best to remedy these weather conditions by the event itself held during cool months i.e. October to December. FIFA must understand that football is for everybody, no religion, nor color or creed and best of all it’s the sport that we all loved to play and watch. The African continent had its chance to host it and it was a huge success. Now its time for the Arabian Gulf to have its glorious festivities through sports and camaraderie. You will be amaze and surprise of what this side of the world has to offer to its visitors, and expats like you and me respectively.

Asif 9 years ago

People talk about the weather playing a major factor but what about the infrastructure in this country and the fact that this city (Doha) because let's face it, most of the games will be played in Doha, is just too small to host a major sporting event like the football World Cup. A sporting event like the World Cup can attract upto 300,000 people from around the globe (30%) of Doha's population. This place would not be able to cope with such a large influx of people.

If Qatar had bid for the World cup with Bahrain and UAE then it may have had a chance but on its own, never in a million years.

It's a brave attempt by Qatar but unfortunately major factors such as the weather and size of the country will contribute towards it not winning the bid. I do hope I'm proven wrong though.

Good Luck Qatar .

jay jay 9 years ago

Having just been to the Brazil v Argentina game here in Qatar i was quite impressed with the organization and stadium.
The problem is not with the A.C of the stadium but with heat outside. 3 games per day for the first 2 weeks and an influx of 400,000 people.
Qatar had temperatures of over 52 degrees this year , you cannot even walk to the car without discomfort. The cultural issues will also have an impact as i do not think the Qataris are ready for that sort of invasisve presence from a western based culture.
I hope they are successful as i think it would be good for world football but it is a very high risk bid.

Charles 9 years ago

I'm not sure if you've been following along, RBH, but Russia bidding for 2018 and Qatar for 2022.

Abhijit P.Kuwalekar 9 years ago

Football is life in Qatar and is followed with passion like no other game.Qatar has demonstrated to the FIFA committee its ability to deliver.
Under the able leadership of His Highness the games will be surely a success.
It is time the GCC gets its fair share of Football fever.

Jon 9 years ago

I agree Asif, I have always questioned why there was no joint bid between Bahrain, Qatar & UAE, even Oman. The flights would be the same price as it would have been flying between host cities in South Africa etc.

They would stand more of a chance with joint representation.

Nader 9 years ago

I am outraged by some of the comments here. Is it now Qatar fault to be located in the middle east ?? We should evalute all bidders objectively and not encourage "geographicisim".