Qatar: No talk of three 30-minute periods

DOHA - Organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have denied that there have been discussions about splitting games into three 30-minute periods if temperatures in the stadiums become dangerously high for the players.

"Splitting the games held during the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has not been discussed at any time," the organising committee said in a statement on Thursday.

"All 64 games in 2022 will be played in carbon neutral cooled stadiums in two halves of 45 minutes as per regulations."

Qatar says that all matches will be played in air-conditioned stadiums in which the temperature will be maintained at around 24 degrees Celsius.

Michael Beavon, a director of Arup Associates who helped to develop the zero-carbon solar technology that will cool the 12 stadiums, said in London on Wednesday that matches could be split into three periods if, for some reason, the temperature reached 32 Celsius.

FIFA denied on Wednesday the possibility had been discussed and Qatar said the comments were "without any foundation."

Qatar was controversially awarded the finals last December, beating off bids from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

The decision came despite FIFA's own technical report saying that summer heat in the country could be a potential health risk for officials, players and spectators and required special precautions to be taken.

Both Qatar and FIFA have also rejected the idea that the tournament could be held in the milder months of January and February.