BERNE - Qatar's bid to host the 2022 World
Cup could pose a potential health risk because of the midsummer
heat despite proposals for cooling the stadiums, FIFA said on
Wednesday in its technical report.
Football's world governing body also warned size could be a
worry in the United States, Australia and Russia as it published
its evaluation of the bids to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
FIFA expressed concern that television income could be
reduced if the 2022 tournament was held in the Far East or
Australia and questioned the idea of co-hosting in a set-back
for the Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands bids for 2018.
England, Russia, Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands are
bidding to host the 2018 World Cup while Japan, South Korea,
United States, Australia and Qatar are candidates for 2022.
FIFA's executive committee will chose both hosts in Zurich
on December 2.
England's bid appeared to emerge almost unscathed from the
report, receiving only minor criticism over training venues and
team accommodation which applied to a number of other bids.
South Korea also looked in good shape apart from concerns
with television rights which were shared with Australia and
"There is a risk of a reduction in TV income from Europe.
The income from Asia/Oceania would need to be increased
substantially to offset the likelihood of loss of revenue in
Europe," said FIFA.
However, it is not clear how much influence the technical
reports have because bids are also allowed to lobby executive
committee members, something which could play a key role.
The reports were published the day before FIFA's ethics
committee was due to announce its verdict on two executive
committee members - Reynaldo Temarii and Amos Adamu - who have
been provisionally suspended over allegations they offered to
sell their votes.
FIFA is also investigating allegations of collusion between
FIFA's summary on Qatar's bid began with praise for its
green credentials and "novel approach" but said holding the
World Cup in such a small country could be a problem.
"The fact that ten out of the 12 stadiums are located within
a 25-30 kilometre radius could represent an operational and
logistical challenge," said FIFA's report.
"Any delay in the completion of the transport projects could
impact FIFA's tournament operations. Moreover, it appears to be
difficult to test a transport concept prior to the event under
conditions comparable to the World Cup."
But the midsummer heat appeared to be the real worry.
"The fact that the competition is planned in June/July, the
two hottest months of the year in this region, has to be
considered as a potential health risk for players, officials,
the FIFA family and spectators, and requires precautions to be
taken," added the report.
Hassan Al-Thawadi, chief executive of Qatar 2022, 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
"These are already operational in Qatar, and are being
further developed and rolled out in the coming years.
"As part of our legacy, we will share our new zero carbon
cooling technology with the rest of the world, ensuring that
football can be played 365 day a year no matter what the
On Russia, FIFA said: "The country's vastness and its
remoteness from other countries, coupled with the fact that the
high-speed railway network is limited... and would put pressure
on the air traffic infrastructure, potentially causing transfer
challenges in view of the lack of alternative means of
A Russian statement said the problems "are already being
addressed and will all be solved well ahead of the 2018 World
The FIFA reports also said the United States and Australia
were over-dependent on air transport.
On the joint bids, the reports used the same phrasing.
"It should be noted that a co-hosting concept could pose
challenges regarding the joint-operational delivery of the World
Cup in terms of ensuring consistent standards and implementation
in various areas such as legal, IT, frequencies, safety and
Australia, England, South Korea, Qatar, Russia and
Spain/Portugal were seen as having a low legal risk for FIFA
while the others were classed as medium risk.
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