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Tue 4 Dec 2012 07:32 PM

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Qatar says it will create new World Cup concept

Organisers say they would prefer a summer event but will consider changing date if required

Qatar says it will create new World Cup concept
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Organisers of the Qatar 2022 World Cup tournament said on Tuesday they would prefer to host a summer event but would be flexible on dates if required.

Speaking at the Host Cities summit in Dubai, Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general, Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, said his team was creating a "new concept" for the World Cup.

He acknowledged that many saw Qatar's size, its lack of footballing heritage and the hot summer weather as barriers to hosting the tournament.

But he told delegates: "From the very beginning, we knew that the Qatari bid had to offer a new vision to make it stand out from our competitors.

"Everything we offered was a revolution in terms of how a World Cup is hosted. People saw our size as a barrier, but we turned it to our advantage and created a compact World Cup. Visitors will see more than one game in a day without travelling by plane and changing their hotel."

He added: "The weather was an obstacle people considered to be significant. But before we even considered bidding for the World Cup we had developed cooling technology within open air stadiums to cool them to the preferable temperature of 27 degrees."

Al Thawadi said Qatar would favour hosting the World Cup in summer so as not to disrupt domestic football schedules, but would be open to a winter tournament if the international footballing consensus reached that decision.

Held at Meydan, Host Cities includes high profile speakers representing sports including football, golf, equestrian and basketball.

Organisations including FIFA, the UAE National Olympic Committee and Dubai Sports Council are also in attendance.

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