‘Air Conditioned’ 2022 World Cup In Jeopardy As Players' Union Calls For Winter Tournament

We’re still a hot 11+ years away from the 2022 Fifa World Cup, but the parade of moaning continues. The latest bit of gossip suggests that the tournament could be played during the wintertime in order to combat the extreme temperatures usually present in Qatar during the summertime. So much for developing a new stadium cooling technology that could then be exported to other countries.

What’s going on is that various people in and around football (I’m calling soccer football in the post for convenience’s sake) have come out against the Qatar World Cup not because of Qatar’s spotty record vis-à-vis women, homosexuals, workers’ rights, etc. but because it’s so hot there during the summer. (Never mind that it was hot as Hades during the 1994 World Cup here in the US!) The Qatar bid has promised to develop a new type of cooling technology to ensure the stadia aren’t 8 million degrees as the players are scampering around the pitch. That’s not enough, it seems.

FIFPro, the international footballers’ union, has come out against the idea of trying to play the World Cup in Qatar during the summer. (You’d think these complaints would have surfaced before Sepp Blatter’s big announcement a few weeks ago!) Instead, the union has come out in favor of playing the tournament in the wintertime, to be played in January, 2022.

Needless to say the various professional leagues around the world would have to re-jigger their schedule that year in order to accommodate a January World Cup. (The World Cup usually occurs in June.)

Aresnal coach Arsène Wenger has gone even further, asking that the England’s Premier League be played from February to November every year. Granted, this is more to do with England’s inability to deal with a few inches of snow, forcing the cancellation of several games at the weekend, but it shows that a top-tier coach is fine with the idea of adjusting the playing schedule to meet changing conditions.

And if Wenger, who generally likes to moan about every. little. thing. is fine with changing the calendar, why shouldn’t we be?

Me? I honestly don’t care when the World Cup is played. As long as it happens, I’m cool.