"The only question now is when, not if," Qatar 2022
communications director Nasser Al Khater said in a statement.
"Summer or winter, we will be ready."
Theo Zwanziger, the former German soccer association (DFB) chief who
now sits on the executive committee of world soccer's governing
body, had said earlier that he felt the tournament would have to be
"I personally think that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take
place in Qatar," he told Sport Bild. "Medics say that they cannot
accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these
FIFA awarded the tournament to the tiny Middle Eastern country in a
controversial decision in 2010, with the understanding that it would
be held in the summer despite the searing heat.
Although oil and gas-rich Qatar has insisted that timetable is
viable thanks to cooling technologies being developed for stadiums,
training areas and fan zones, there is still widespread concern over
the health of players and visiting fans.
"They may be able to cool the stadiums but a World Cup does not take
place only there," Zwanziger said.
"Fans from around the world will be coming and traveling in this
heat and the first life-threatening case will trigger an
investigation by a state prosecutor.
"That is not something that FIFA Exco members want to answer for."
FIFA officials, contacted by Reuters, said Zwanziger was not giving
the view of the all powerful Executive Committee.
"He is expressing a personal opinion and he explicitly says so,"
FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said. "We will not comment on a
Qatar organizers said they have already proved that cooling
technologies that would be used at the World Cup work.
"We have proven that a FIFA World Cup in Qatar in the summer is
possible with state-of-the-art cooling technology," said Al Khater.
[to top of second column]
"We have demonstrated that our cooling works in outdoor areas beyond
stadiums. This summer we welcomed fans in Doha to an open-air Brazil
2014 Fan Zone with temperatures cooled to a comfortable 22 degrees
"The evolution of environmentally-friendly cooling technologies is
an important legacy for our nation, region and for countries with
similar climates - promising to expand the reach of hosting major
sporting events to countries where it was never thought possible
Despite the resources being thrown at high-tech cooling techniques,
skepticism about Qatar's ability to stage a World Cup in the summer
-- when temperatures can soar into the mid 40s Celsius -- has not
FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in May that awarding the World Cup
to Qatar was a 'mistake' and the tournament would probably have to
be held in the European winter.
"The Qatar technical report indicated clearly that it is too hot in
summer, but the executive committee with quite a big majority
decided all the same that the tournament would be in Qatar," he
FIFA is looking at the option of shifting the tournament to
January/February 2022 or November/December 2022 - both of which
would be unpopular because of disruption to the domestic seasons in
Europe and around the world.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman Bin
Ebrahim Al Khalifa chaired a meeting to discuss the matter earlier
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann. Editing by Patrick Johnston/Alan
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