Many spectators complained about the coolness in the stadium on Sunday during the opening match of the World Cup between Qatar and Ecuador (0-2) due to the air conditioning.
Journalists wearing jackets, well-dressed supporters… There was a strange atmosphere in the stands at the Al-Bayt stadium on Sunday during the opening match of the World Cup between Qatar and Ecuador (0-2). While the temperature was only 25 degrees outside, the organizers turned on the air conditioning to bring it down to 20 degrees during the meeting… while leaving the roof open.
Sentiment seemed even lower among some Ecuadorian supporters that their team’s easy victory did not warm up. “We were all frozen to death,” Angelica, an Ecuadorian supporter, told RMC Sport at the microphone. In Ecuador we have regions where it is cold, but here it was worse than at home or at home in Europe. We had our feet frozen. We covered ourselves with our flags. We wanted them to turn off the air conditioning.”
“It is too cold”
A freshness is also felt among some local fans such as Faisal Rasheed, a 40-year-old Qatar supporter quoted by the Associated Press agency. “Actually, it’s too cold,” he said, indicating that the air conditioner “worked well” while wondering if it was necessary in the windy and desert night. “It’s actually a little cold tonight,” Mario Sanchez, a 33-year-old American fan, told the AP, “but that’s because it’s really windy,” he said.
The World Cup will take place in the winter months in Qatar instead of the traditional June-July window after organizers moved it to 2015 due to concerns over scorching summer temperatures. Qatar has spent billions building seven air-conditioned outdoor World Cup stadiums. Doha’s 974 Stadium is the only venue that will not be cooled, but it will only host night games. The first test of the air conditioner would take place this Monday during the match between England and Iran, scheduled for 4pm local time.