Sunday, 31 March 2013

Qatar stands by summer world cup: Thawadi

A SENIOR official for the Qatar World Cup 2022 again downplayed suggestions that the tournament should be moved from the heat of summer for player and fan safety. Hassan al Thawadi, General Secretary of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, said on Friday “we always knew about it ... we know there is an issue with the heat.” “It’s not like, people said this as we were like ‘wow, we thought it was snowing in the summer.’ But the point is that we are looking at solutions.” Thawadi, who was also the CEO of the WC 2022 bid team, said that Qatar would only change (the timing) if the wider world wished it. “It is a debate within the football community and at a certain point somebody is going to have to make a decision. We have to take into consideration the overall consensus of the football community. Today, we are moving ahead with a summer World Cup, plain and simple.” “We always said that our bid was a summer World Cup, our cooling technologies are moving ahead, they are not limited to stadiums and that’s important for people to understand. Fans will be able to enjoy a great atmosphere in the outdoors through the development of these technologies. On FIFA chief Sepp Blatter’s recent remarks, he said, “I’ll say let that come as it comes. When the time comes, our position will be clear. Today, we are moving towards a summer World Cup. Everyone knew about the heat.” He prefers to talk about the potential that Asia has and how the world’s largest continent needs to have a bigger say in the governing of the world’s favourite game. “Asia needs to be a voice. It needs to come to the table in FIFA as it has done so over the years but it needs to have more influence in the world of football but more importantly, Asia needs to develop itself and raise its football a lot more.” “The World Cup in Asia makes it much closer to home for the people of Asia, and it is something they can touch and feel.”

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