According to The Washington Post, while questions linger about the allegedly shady activity that led FIFA to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, the Middle Eastern country has been dogged with criticism about its suitability for the tournament. Corruption, human rights violations, the heat-stroke inducing weather… Indeed, criticism has been hot and heavy, and now it’s about get a whole lot more balmy.
The hot Qatari summer, where temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit has already been criticized for how it might affect the players, but now a new study published in this month’s International Journal of Biometeorology purports that heat will affect spectators negatively, too.
Based on thermal indices such as the Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET), which takes into account various environmental data (humidity, wind, etc.) to measure if an 85-degree day might feel more like 95-degree one, for example, the study concludes:
The study, conducted by Dr. Andreas Matzarakis and researcher Dominik Frohlich of the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg in Germany, concludes with a recommendation to reschedule the World Cup from July to sometime between November and February “when thermally comfortable conditions are much more frequent.”
The study backs up what many have already demanded — that the 2022 World Cup either be moved to winter or to another, more comfortably temperate location altogether.
In August of last year, FIFA president Sepp Blatter told the Associated Press that he “would be very surprised, more than surprised” if the World Cup would not be rescheduled for the winter in Qatar. Shortly after, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke seemed to announce the World Cup would move. He told Radio France, “To be honest, I think it will be held between November 15 and January 15 at the latest.” But almost immediately after Valcke talked about moving the tournament, FIFA’s Vice President Jim Boyce rolled back on the association’s stance. He told the Telegraph.
To this day, no decision has been made.