Revolutionary cooling technology is set to be used at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after tests proved successful at Doha’s Khalifa Stadium.
The innovation being trialled in the Qatari capital involves cold air being pumped into stadia through a system powered by chilled water, which is the transformed into a cold mist after passing through cooling nozzles.
The development is an important step in the build-up to the tournament, which has courted controversy since Qatar was announced as the competition’s host in December 2010.
One regular question has been over the country’s climate, where temperatures average 42C in the summer, ruling out the prospect of the global soccer tournament taking place in its traditional slot. As a result, the month-long competition will take place between 21st November and 18th December.
Even in November, however, temperatures in the Gulf region can reach 30C. The early results of the cooling technology’s use have shown the in-stadium installations to be a success, with temperatures reduced to 20C on the pitch and 23C in the stands of the Khalifa Stadium, where 48,000 fans were present.
Chung Mong-gyu, the president of the Korean Football Association (KFA), praised the long-term potential of the new technology. He said: “I believe that technology will be an important element. I am aware that the advanced open air stadium cooling technology at the Khalifa International Stadium has received praise from many quarters.
“A lot of leagues in Asia now have the backing of top corporate houses of those countries - South Korea, China, Japan and recently India. Qatar's cooling system might be something these leagues could consider using after 2022 because a lot of matches are scheduled during summer months.”