Qatar questions need for alcohol at World Cup

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Qatar is refusing to say whether it will sell alcohol at stadiums during the 2022 World Cup, although a top official said Wednesday he didn't see the reason for selling it at matches.

Hassan al-Thawadi, General Secretary of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, said it was an issue that will be discussed with FIFA over the years. He only would say the country was aiming to put on an event where "everyone will be able to have a great time, have fun and be exposed to Qatari culture."

Qatar, a nation with conservative Muslim traditions but which has a significant population of foreign workers, limits the sale of alcohol mostly to five-star hotels. It doesn't sell alcohol currently at football matches.

"I don't see the reason for it being in the stadium," said al-Thawadi, who noted that several nations including Brazil don't currently sell it at matches. "I'm looking at it in terms of England and looking at in terms of everybody else. That is something we are discussing with FIFA ... Let's discuss this with relevant stakeholders and come up with a plan that welcomes everyone."

The issue of alcohol sales in stadiums is not limited to Qatar. It became a hot topic a few months back when FIFA sparred with Brazil over sales at the 2014 World Cup, insisting it wasn't an issue for debate.

FIFA has said it will sharply defend the commercial rights of all its sponsors — among them brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, the maker of Budweiser, which has extended its sponsorship of the World Cup through the 2018 edition in Russia and the 2022 event in Qatar.



Qatar’s attitude now indicates that it is its will to move to winter. Yes, there are people wanting to move. However, you must have noticed that both the UK and Germany league's leaders have said recently that they are against the move to winter. Haven't you heard that?

Yes, there are numerous people asking for that. But that was led by the pre-decided UEFA leader who promised to move before the vote.

Why there should be a debate? Many don't like it. There is no need to debate. If you want to change, apply to FIFA. Else, give up and surrender the right back to FIFA.

I have just woken to feel that actually Qatar knows by now that there is no solution to the heat problem in the stadia, unless fully enclosed. There is no problem to cool down an enclosed 60000 people stadium if enclosed like a huge shopping mall. However, if it is open, then there may be a problem resulting from the very hot wind coming from the deserts of the neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

In Australia, sometimes, there are winds coming down from the very hot deserts in the middle of the continent. Not very often, but may happen. As for Qatar, Eastern sea wind is not a huge problem. But if summer wind is coming from the inland deserts, then, there is no point of just having artificial floating clouds to provide shades on the stadia. Also, I am wondering how what they said a cooling effect like the skin of a lizard may work.

But if fully enclosed, then other problems arise, like fire escape, fire safety, appearance, and cost, etc.

So, what they are wanting for a debate is a hoax. Actually they can’t solve the problem. They should give up.

The engineers said in "The National, ae" ( that I read today are nothing new:

All those saying of absorption chiller, solar panel, retractable roof, auto window curtain, air below the seats, thermo storage (ice storage) are nothing new. These are decades-old technologies. The only new saying is to link old technologies in a new way. But this is suspicious! Carbon neutral is very suspicious.

As a retired air-conditioning engineer and previous member of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers), i dare to say: nothing new. And the saying of linking old technologies to a make a new invention is not true. Just improving.

As a retired environmentalist, having a master degree in environmental study, I am very reserved in the saying of "carbon-neutral".

By the way, absorption chillers have only one advantage: quiet running. It is not energy efficient. If really new generations of absorption chillers can be more energy efficient, I am objective in updating my knowledge.

That 500-seats model is not convincing to me at all. Scaling from 500 to 500,000 capacity is 1000 times bigger! All engineers are good mathematicians, knowing that this is not a linear proportional function. Even linear, it is 1000 times bigger.

Some professionals are just money wise professionals.

If air-conditioned stadia can really work, bring it on. I really want to learn.

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