Italian football legend Fabio Cannavaro has said the summer heat in Qatar will prove “very difficult” for players as well as fans during the 2022 World Cup.
The captain of the 2006 World Cup winning team said even those who are used to the Gulf region’s scorching hot temperatures will find it tough to play and watch the matches.
“Definitely the heat will be the most difficult aspect not only for the players but organisation wise,” he told Arabian Business in an exclusive interview.
“They have 32 teams, which means 32 sets of fans. So the heat is definitely going to make things difficult both football wise and for the fans in the stands.”
He added: “I have played in this heat so I know what it feels like; it’s going to be very difficult. It will be hot for everyone, even if you’re used to it.”
The 37-year old sports star, dubbed one of the greatest defenders of his generation, has previously voiced concerns about summer games, suggesting that the tournament be moved to winter.
Cannavaro, who is based in Dubai and works as a technical consultant for the emirate’s local team the Al-Ahli Club, said in December that FIFA could consider alternative dates given Qatar’s enormous economic resources.
He echoed the views of UEFA president Michel Platini, who also called for changes to the match schedule weeks earlier, saying it would be much easier and definitely possible.
Critics of Qatar’s 2022 win say the Arab state is unsuitable as a venue largely because of the sizzling heat during June and July – the months when the World Cup is traditionally held.
At this time of year, temperatures in Qatar can reach as high as 50C.
But organisers of the tournament claim the games will be played in carbon neutral cooled stadiums.
They last year denied claims by an engineer of the stadiums that FIFA could split matches into three 30-minute periods to help players cope with the heat.
Follow us on our social media channels: