FIFA Medical Chief Raises Concerns Over Qatar Heat During 2022 World Cup
FIFA medical chief Michel D'Hooghe said that he "is concerned about the prospects of playing the 2022 World Cup in the summer heat of Qatar," according to Andy Sambidge of ARABIAN BUSINESS. D'Hooghe "entered the debate about whether the Gulf state should stick to the traditional slot of June for a World Cup or consider a shift to the winter months." In comments published by the AP, D'Hooghe said, "Personally, I think it would be a good thing if we could play this World Cup in better temperatures than in full summer in Qatar" (ARABIAN BUSINESS, 3/16). The NEW STRAITS TIMES reported even though D'Hooghe said games and training would be held in "climate conditioned temperatures" of 21 degrees Celcius (70F), the thousands of fans and other officials following the month-long tournament "would have to deal much more with the scorching heat." UEFA President Michel Platini has already said that "he would prefer the cooler winter months," but such a shift "would be a major headache for clubs and leagues who are in the midst of their own seasons at that time" (NEW STRAITS TIMES, 3/17).