Qatar unveils dhow-inspired stadium amid World Cup controversy

Updated 07 December 2013
0

Qatar unveils dhow-inspired stadium amid World Cup controversy

DOHA: Qatar on Saturday unveiled the design for a new soccer stadium, inspired by a traditional fishing boat but with a cooled pitch, as it presses ahead with plans for the 2022 World Cup despite the dispute over when it can be held due to the heat.
Soccer governing body FIFA has launched a consultation process to decide whether the tournament, initially scheduled to be held in the traditional June-July slot, when temperatures can reach around 50 degrees Celsius (120 Fahrenheit), should be moved to a cooler time such as November-December.
Under the blueprint released by Qatar’s 2022 Supreme Committee, the stadium in the Al-Wakrah region, 15 km (10 miles) from the capital Doha, will have shaded spectator stands cooled between 24 and 28C and a natural grass pitch cooled to 26C.
The design, topped with a structure resembling the sails of a dhow, also includes a spectator area outside the ground that will be temperature controlled at 30-32C.
The plan gave no specific details how the cooling system would work, other than saying it would incorporate “shading, aerodynamic and mechanical cooling components.”
The question of the heat during a summer tournament has been a one of several controversies since Qatar was announced as the winner of the bid in December 2010.
Players’ union FIFPro has said it will urge its members not to take part if it is played in Qatar’s summer, even if air conditioning is installed in the stadiums.
Qatar has also been hit by allegations of migrant construction workers not being given enough food or water, as well as accusations of corruption over the voting procedure to win the bid. Officials have denied the accusations.
“Al-Wakrah is the first of six stadiums already in the latter stages of the design process, our committee has issued 10 major tenders to the market encompassing project and design managers and stadium-operation consultants, “Hassan Al-Thawadi, the general secretary of the 2022 committee told reporters.
He said stadium, with a capacity of 40,000 people, would be completed by 2018, but declined to comment on the cost.
Overall, the tiny gas-rich state plans to spend about $140 billion on a rail system, a new airport, a seaport, and hundreds of kilometers of new roads for the tournament, in addition to the stadiums that will host the matches.
Asked how the committee plans to limit any risk of abuse to workers, Al-Thawadi said the committee was dedicated to applying all clauses in its workers’ charter to make sure the rights of the workers were going to be respected and upheld.
“If there are any deaths above zero that would be unacceptable for us,” he said.


Late Virgil van Dijk strike over rivals Germany fires Netherlands into Nations League semifinals

Updated 55 min 1 sec ago
0

Late Virgil van Dijk strike over rivals Germany fires Netherlands into Nations League semifinals

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany: Virgil van Dijk equalized in the 91st-minute to send the Netherlands into the Nations League semifinals, at the expense of France, after sealing a dramatic 2-2 draw away to Germany on Monday.
The Dutch advance at the expense of world champions France after scoring twice in the final six minutes in Gelsenkirchen as Germany were punished for but not being clinical enough in the second half.
Liverpool defender Van Dijk fired home to complete the Dutch fight back after Quincy Promes scored their first goal on 85 minutes to cancel out Timo Werner and Leroy Sane’s first-half goals for Germany.
The point in Gelsenkirchen was enough to send the Dutch into the Nations League semis as Group One winners, with world champions France second, while bottom side Germany were already relegated to the ‘B’ league.
Ronaldo Koeman’s side showed plenty of heart against the Germans, who had been 2-0 up after just 20 minutes.
Thomas Mueller, a second-half replacement, reached the milestone of 100 Germany appearances, but Van Dijk dampened any celebrations for the hosts.
Having described 2018 as a ‘slap in the face’ — after a record six defeats in a calender year — Germany showed the ‘killer instinct’ head coach Joachim Loew had called for after their World Cup debacle — but only in the first half.
The trio of Serge Gnabry, Sane and Werner, so effective in Thursday’s 3-0 friendly win over Russia, caused the Dutch defense no end of problems in the opening 45 minutes.
Having started the rebuilding process in the wake of Germany’s woeful World Cup display, crashing out after the group stages, Loew started with only three Brazil 2014 winners in Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels and Toni Kroos.
Dutch coach Ronald Koeman made two changes from Friday’s 2-0 win over France with Kenny Tete taking over from Denzel Dumfries at right back and Promes on the right wing for Steven Bergwijn.
Germany needed just nine minutes to land the first blow in the clash of the European heavyweights.
There was little on when Gnabry’s pass found Werner on the edge of the area, but the 22-year-old showed ice-cold finishing by hitting the bottom corner of the net past Jasper Cillessen.
Werner ended his barren run of eight internationals without a goal and Sane added the second, with the help of a deflection, 11 minutes later to floor the Dutch.
Again, there was little on when Toni Kroos floated in a long pass to Sane, who stumbled slightly, but managed to win the ball and fired home a superb shot, which clipped the boot of a defender, as it sailed past Cillessen.
A hamstring injury to Ryan Babbel forced Koeman to reshuffle his attack with Javairo Dilrosun coming on just before the half-time whistle.
Werner fired wide after getting in behind the defense, but from that point on the Dutch began to take charge.
Werner made way for Germany’s chief playmaker Marco Reus with 27 minutes left as Loew also introduced the experienced Mueller, but it was not enough to defend the lead.
The Dutch scored from their first real attack when Promes curled his shot home on 85 minutes after sustained pressure from the hosts.
The scene was set for Van Dijk to complete the fairytale comeback when he produced a thumping finish to delight traveling fans just before the final whistle.