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Fri 8 Jul 2011 09:36 AM

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Qatar denies changes for World Cup 2022 matches

Gulf state dismisses claims that heat could force matches to be split into thirds rather than halves

Qatar denies changes for World Cup 2022 matches
Inside the Al Gharafa Stadium, which will be upgraded should Qatar win the right to host the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar denies changes for World Cup 2022 matches
(Getty Images)
Qatar denies changes for World Cup 2022 matches
The 45,330-seater Al-Khor stadium will be situated in the north east of Qatar.

Organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have denied claims by an engineer of its air-conditioned stadiums that FIFA could split matches into three 30-minute periods to help players cope with the heat.

Qatar officials said in a statement that the idea has not been discussed.

It added that comments previously made by Michael Beavon, a director of Arup Associates, at a conference in London on Wednesday were "without any foundation".

"Splitting the games held during the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has not been discussed at any time," the statement from the 2022 Qatar World Cup bid team said.

"Statements on this subject made by Mr Beaven from ARUP are without any foundation. All 64 games in 2022 will be played in carbon neutral cooled stadiums in two halves of forty-five minutes as per regulations."

The statement added that representatives from Arup were "not spokespeople for Qatar 2022".

On Thursday, it was reported that FIFA ‘guidance’ could allow games at the Qatar 2022 World Cup finals to be split into three 30-minute ‘thirds’ rather than the traditional 45-minute halves due to dangerous heat levels.

Arup Associates director Michael Beavon said: “There is a moderate risk of heat injury to the players between 24C-29C but if you go above that you have high and extreme risk of injury.

“The one thing FIFA do say, although it is for guidance, is if it’s 32C they will stop a match and play three 30-minute thirds rather than two 45-minute halves.

“The reason would be to re-hydrate the players before they could carry on playing. That of course would play havoc with TV schedules and those kind of things,” Beavon added.

Arup helped develop the zero-carbon solar technology that will help cool the 12 stadiums that Qatar is building to host the tournament.

Qatar was awarded the World Cup in December last year, and is spending an estimated $57bn on infrastructure to ensure that it is ready to host the tournament in a decade’s time.

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Jason 8 years ago

How environmentally friendly would the cooling of an entire stadium be ? I visioned our progress into the future would be a save earth-sustain life approach !!

Frank Forsberg 8 years ago

I wrote that the whole thing was part of the Qatar and FIFA plan to increase revenue as I commented in the article "Qatar world cup matches could be split into thirds" few days ago. Today July 8th the Guardian wrote an article titled "Fifa sees profit in a game of three thirds". Like I said many people jumped on Qatar and thought this is a problem for Qatar and the tournament, instead this is profit increasing potential. Environmental friendly cooling systems exist today let alone 11 years from now and Qatar can afford it. Soccer games with 3 or more periods will happen either the next time the US hosts the game or as soon the US becomes powerhouse in the FIFA tables if not earlier.

Yaser 8 years ago

Hi Frank. This is not realistic. Even though that Fifa had said that three periods are more profitable; i dont see this as quite serious from FIFA as it appears. Actually i think it is funny. We have been used to seeing football as two halves; and i dont think most people and before that the Coaches would like to see that. Game strategies are set on the basis of two halves; i dont think anyone is ready for this change. If it is to happen; it has to happen gradually and worldwide; and not for a specific tournament or competition.
As for heat; Qatar is planning to do many things for this purpose; and yet; most football players in the region do play currently under these conditions; so it is a matter of adaptation.
I think that most articles in this regard are part of pushing worldwide public opinion to re-consider 2022 World Cup and probably pass it to another nation.

Frank Forsberg 8 years ago

Yaser I said "....if not earlier" and you said "If ..... it has to happen gradually and worldwide" which is the same. What I meant was if others don't see this profitable solution then good old USA will force the issue. That is all. Remember the Golden Goal? how about the offside rules? extra referees? having all 12 players on the bench instead of traditional 5 in the world cup? two things are for sure; things change and Money RULES and this is about money. We also agree on the intent of most idiotic articles.

Abdulaziz 8 years ago

You should stick to your American Football, instead of forcing your American rules on an international game.

Abdulaziz 8 years ago

Frank, stick to your American Football instead of trying to change an international game, which is popular among all nations except for the US.