Qatari authorities have hit back at suggestions by one of their leading 2022 World Cup architects that air conditioning the stadiums is not practical
John Barrow, of UK architects Populous, told the International Football Arena (IFA) conference in Zurich that the concept was too expensive and “notoriously unsustainable”.
Mr Barrow said shading seats during the day and using traditional ventilating methods would make far more sense.
Qatar’s cooling plans underpinned the Gulf state’s runaway victory in December last year even though it was deemed the only “high risk” candidate among five bidders.
Barrow questioned their cooling methods during his IFA address. “It’s very important to get the shading, entrancing and departure right in terms of comfort. That’s a pre-requisite, otherwise it’s hopeless,” he said.
“The organisers want to have the big showcase stadium with air conditioning but we are fighting hard to persuade them that you don’t need to have it.”
Mr Barrow’s remarks came three days before Doha goes head to head with London in a bid to stage the 2017 World Athletics Championships.
However, aspokesman for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid said the country was pressing ahead with its revolutionary plans and that there was no intention to scrap the technique.
“All our commitments that have been made to FIFA that are in the bid book are still going ahead as planned. There’s no plan of scrapping cooling technology whatsoever, he told Bloomberg.