|World Cup Stadium|
Of course, we all know that by a stroke of remarkable good fortune and generosity by FIFA, Qatar was awarded the role of host for the next football World Cup. At the same time, most of us know that it does get rather hot there; often as high as 50 degrees Celsius in mid-summer.
I've been to Qatar several times on business and in the summer too. Like the FA and Greg Dyke, I share the concern, that regardless of the multi-billion dollar preparations to keep the new football stadia down to a baking 30C, fans might actually expire from heat-stroke simply trying to get from their hotels to the matches.
It takes at least ten days for the body to adapt to the kinds of temperatures expected at the next World Cup and while I'm sure the players will be training at some luxury desert resort, fans will step off the aircraft into the jaws of a blast furnace. That in fact was my first impression of going to work in Saudi Arabia over thirty years ago. Anyone overweight and with a heart condition will be at risk. Only last month, we witnessed the tragedy of what happened to three soldiers competing for SAS selection when they were overtaken, unacclimatised, by the sudden heat wave in this country.
Bring a hat, a portable air-conditioning unit and several bottles of factor 150 sun cream if you are thinking of going.