Qatar's Newest Idea For Hosting World Cup Games Without People Dying: 1 A.M. Start Times
Amazingly, Qatar has not yet been stripped of its World Cup hosting duties, which means we're still eight years away from supporting what amounts to mass homicide (not to mention slavery and possibly terrorism?) in the name of soccer. But if that wasn't bad enough -- and I, like you, have a pretty low set of decency standards, so I feel ya -- how about the prospect of making players kick off at 1 a.m.?
This comes down to the extreme heat. Qatar, located along the Arabian Peninsula, is too hot for summer afternoon games, as is customary. Assuming that moving the tournament to November/December and putting it in direct conflict with European leagues won't work, another idea is to play the games at night and in the early morning. Via BBC:
Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who is considering challenging Sepp Blatter for the Fifa presidency, said the event could still be staged in the summer.
But the ex-Chilean football chief said some games would have to start as late as 1am to avoid the worst of the heat.
"You could play the first games at 7pm, the second games at 10pm and the third matches at 1am," he told BBC Sport.
From a viewership standpoint, Europeans would probably love this: Kickoff times for continental Europe would be 5 p.m, 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. In the U.S., they'd be mostly during the work day, but that didn't stop most of us from watching this year's tournament anyway, did it?
On the other hand, are we really going to make Tim Howard (and yes, I fully expect 43-year-old Howard to be between the posts for Team USA in 2022) stay up until 3 a.m. playing soccer? Exactly how far are we going to bend over backwards to placate FIFA and Qatari officials here? When will we decide that enough is enough? How ridiculous do the suggestions have to get?
More ideas for a Qatar World Cup:
-Soccer must be played at "half-speed" with water breaks every five minutes.
-Erecting a giant, climate-controlled bubble over the entire country
-Cheering, flag-waving, standing for an extended period of time all prohibited.
-Build an city from scratch. Oh, wait, they're already doing that.
Photo via Getty
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