Fifa may allow the 2022 World Cup games to be played over three periods of 30 minutes it has been claimed. Worries over the temperature at games in the tournament in Qatar have led to Arup Associates being hired to look at ways of reducing the impact of heat exhaustion on players, and a director has claimed the format of the game could be changed.
“There is a moderate risk of heat injury to the players between 24C-29C but if you go above that you have high and extreme risk of injury, ‘ Michael Beavon told delegates at the Qatar Infrastructure Conference in London.
“The one thing FIFA do say, although it is for guidance, is if it’s 32C they will stop a match and play three 30-minute thirds rather than two 45-minute halves. The reason would be to re-hydrate the players before they could carry on playing. That of course would play havoc with TV schedules and those kind of things. The commitment from Qatar was to provide conditions in the moderate band, so that matches would go ahead and be played as normal,” he concluded.
A Fifa spokesman has been quick to distance the organisation from these claims however.
“This possibility has not been discussed. In any case, this would require a change in the Laws of the Game, and therefore would have to be analysed and approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in the first place,” he stated.