Friday, July 8, 2011

Following up on an old rant

It's been a while since I've ranted about FIFA, hasn't it? Actually, no, it really hasn't been. But it seems like it has, and it certainly hasn't been for lack of material. When it comes to providing fodder for bitter bloggers like me, FIFA is second to none. Go ahead boys, show us what you've got today.
Having decided to play the tournament in the middle of summer in a country where temperatures regularly exceed 40C [104 F], Fifa have been wrestling with the problem of how the world's best players are going to cope with the conditions.
Air conditioned, indoor stadiums will help, but even that might not be enough to keep them at a safe temperature according to Michael Beavon, a director of Arup Associates, the company responsible for developing the zero-carbon solar technology intended to cool them.
As a result, one proposal being considered by Fifa is to play the 90 minute games over three 30-minute periods if the temperature inside the stadiums exceeds 30c [86 F] because of the potential health risks involved.
"There is a moderate risk of heat injury to the players between 24C-29C [75-84 F] but if you go above that you have high and extreme risk of injury, " said Beavon, who was speaking to delegates at the Qatar Infrastructure Conference in London.
"The one thing Fifa do say, although it is for guidance, is if it's 32C [90 F] they will stop a match and play three 30-minute thirds rather than two 45-minute halves."
Look, I'm already on record with my thoughts on choosing a nation such as Qatar to host your sport's biggest event. It's tone-deaf in almost every imaginable regard, and the choice has already offended (among others) environmentalists, gays, and the entire nation of Israel (and, likely by extension, the entire global Jewish community).

But it's one thing to be politically offensive. It's quite another to CHANGE THE RULES OF YOUR GAME in order to cover up your ridiculous (and corrupt) decisions. There's not a lot of hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing a World Cup host nation--yes, there are guidelines as to what a World Cup stadium should look like, but obviously those too were relaxed in order to award Qatar, a nation with zero Cup-ready venues, with the Cup.

But one would think that if there was to be even one rule, that rule would be "make sure that soccer can be played in this country". On that most basic of requirements, it's clear that Qatar has failed. This should pretty much be the end of the conversation, and yet here we are. Well played, FIFA. I can't wait for 2022. Save us, robot clouds!


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