Visitors to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar could be kept cool by artificial clouds, according to Qatari scientists.
A country that has already pledged to air condition stadiums in order to combat extreme heat in the summer months, with temperatures approaching 50 degrees Celsius, has now unveiled another innovative solution to the problem.
Scientists at Qatar University claim to have invented a synthetic cloud which could shield stadiums and training grounds from oppressive heat. It is reported each cloud could cost in the region of $500,000. The project will be developed in conjunction with Qatar Science and Technology Park.
Saud Abdul Ghani, head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Qatar University, said: "Artificial cloud will move by remote control, made of 100% light carbonic materials, fuelled by four solar-powered engines and it will fly high to protect direct and indirect sun rays to control temperatures at the open playgrounds."
Qatar's surprise success in winning the right to host the tournament in 2022 was immediately followed by real concerns that extreme temperatures would create health problems for competitors and spectators alike.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter had suggested that the tournament could move to the winter, although football's governing body has since clarified this will not happen.
"Any potential move of the 2022 FIFA World Cup from a summer to a winter period would have to be initiated by the football association of Qatar and would have to be presented to the FIFA Executive Committee," FIFA said in a statement in January. "At this stage there are no concrete plans to change the international match calendar."