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Qatar official responds to critics

The Khalifa International Stadium, set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, on Jan 9 2014 in Doha, Qatar – Photograph by Lars Baron/Getty Images

By RYAN TOLMICH

Despite recent comments from a FIFA official to the contrary, Qatari officials remain firm when it comes to their World Cup preparations.

FIFA executive Theo Zwanziger voiced his belief that the 2022 World Cup should be held elsewhere due to climate concerns, but Qatar 2022 communications director Nasser Al Khater insists that the tournament will go on as planned on Qatari soil.

“The only question now is when, not if,” Al Khater said in a statement. “Summer or winter, we will be ready.”

Al Khater went on to say that Qatar continues to have faith in their ability to maintain a healthy environment.

“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. “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 Celsius.

“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 before.”

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