This World Cup created three “firsts”: the first time it was held in the winter of the northern hemisphere, the first time it was held by a country that had never entered the World Cup finals, and the first time it was held in a Middle Eastern country.
Enter the World Cup as a host
Qatar, located on the Qatar Peninsula on the southwest coast of the Persian Gulf, has a tropical desert climate. This independent country in 1971 has a total land area of 11,521 square kilometers and a coastline of 563 kilometers. As of June 2021, the total population is 2.505 million. According to the “2020 China Census Sub-county Data” standard, the population size of 1 million to 3 million is a Type II large city. There are 70 cities that meet this population size, and there are 105 domestic cities that exceed this size. Therefore, according to the population size of domestic cities, Qatar is an ordinary prefecture-level city. It is a country of such a size, but it has 14 well-known football clubs and 499 professional football players. According to the latest FIFA rankings for 2022, the Cartel national team ranks 58th, 20 places higher than the Chinese football team.
Since Qatar won the right to host the World Cup in 2010, complaints and doubts have never stopped, because Qatar has never entered the World Cup. It is incredible that a country that has never participated in the World Cup can host the World Cup.
However, Qatar did not break into the gap in the World Cup and will break through in 2022. There are a total of 32 teams in this World Cup, 31 of which have been determined, and the 32nd team is the host Qatar national team, which will directly enter the final.
Bring fans a constant temperature of 20 degrees
November is already winter for a country with four distinct seasons, but in Qatar there are still high temperatures as high as 30°C. Qatar is located in the desert region of the Middle East, and the four seasons are not obvious. Every year from April to October is summer, which is also the longest season of the year, and the temperature exceeds 40°C. Fortunately, the highest temperature in Qatar in winter is between 24-30°C, which is suitable for outdoor sports, so the 2022 World Cup is held in winter.
In order to provide a comfortable temperature for games and watching games, Qatar has installed “key cooling” cooling systems in seven World Cup stadiums to provide cooler air for athletes and fans who run a lot. The cooling system cools the outside air through solar air conditioning fans, the cool air enters the stands from the vents, and the larger vents into the stadium. The air circulation technology draws the cooled air back, re-cools and filters it. After this process is completed, the recycled air will be sent back to the stadium, thus ensuring that the temperature of each court is kept at a constant 22 degrees Celsius.
This cooling technology has also been effectively used in other public areas. For example, in the Katara Cultural Village, the sidewalks in the square have achieved 100% cooling. In addition, Qatar continues to develop and implement cooling technology in sidewalks across the country, using innovation to promote environmental progress, so as not to put pressure on the power grid and water network. For example, on the sidewalks of Asbel Park, the cooling technology is powered entirely by solar panels. The use of cooling technology also encourages more people to go outdoors in summer and actively participate in sports, so as to better promote the development of national health.
At the same time, Qatar is also equipped with LED lights for all stadiums in this World Cup. This lighting technology is energy efficient, non-toxic and lasts six times longer than traditional light bulbs. Color-changing light displays were even used for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Arbait Stadium and the Lusail Stadium. In addition, the electricity used during the World Cup will also come directly from a solar panel farm located outside Doha, which is being developed by Qatar Energy and Qatar Water and Electricity Company (QEWC).
Intelligent transportation serves millions of fans
As we all know, the World Cup will provide a lot of economic growth for the host country. According to the report of FIFA, during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, about 600,000 foreign tourists flooded into Russia, bringing about US$1.949 billion in revenue for Russia. Airline bookings to Qatar are surging from 10 countries including the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Argentina, Spain and Japan, according to data from travel analytics group ForwardKeys. Data show that as of the end of September 2022, flights departing from these 10 countries to Qatar from November 14 to December 24 have increased by more than 10 times compared to 2019.
As the world’s largest producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas, Qatar’s per capita GDP is US$61,800, and it is a developed country recognized by the international community. Especially the capital, Doha, has a population of less than one million. Pedestrians are rarely seen on the street. There is neither the noise of large or small vehicles, nor crowds of commuters. However, in order to cope with the foreseeable surge in passenger traffic, an Australian technology company provided a smart transportation solution for this World Cup. The solution effectively manages transportation, making it smoother for participating teams and fans to and from stadiums and residences. Let more than 1 million fans from all over the world “not get lost”.
Wearable tech jersey
During the 2014 World Cup, during Brazil’s 5:1 victory over Cameroon, 20 people died of heart disease, far less than when Brazil lost 1:7 to Germany – where A total of 29 people died in the game. The researchers found that death rates tended to increase significantly during a highly emotional and stressful game. In 2018, a study by the Nervous System Research Center of Sao Paulo State University (UNESP) in Brazil showed that the heart disease rate of fans during the World Cup increased significantly compared with usual times. A survey by the British “New England Journal of Medicine” also showed that the proportion of extremely fanatical fans suffering from cardiovascular complications such as arrhythmia and acute myocardial infarction is 2.66 times that of normal people. A professor at the Nervous System Research Center of Sao Paulo State University believes: “Compared with ordinary fans, fanatical fans are more likely to suffer from heart disease, and the proportion of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease is also higher than that of ordinary fans.” An extremely tense atmosphere will lead to a surge of adrenaline, which will cause physiological changes in people, increase heart rate and blood pressure, and make heart attacks and even death more likely.
In order to protect the health of fans, this World Cup in Qatar provides fans with integrated sensor jerseys, which can provide real-time tracking of heart rate and breathing to monitor the health of fans. Once it is found that someone’s body is sending out danger signals, medical staff will quickly provide medical intervention. At the same time, for fans with physical hazards, the organizers have also developed a series of wearable electronic devices to help fans participating in the World Cup in Qatar avoid sudden medical conditions.
For fans with physical and mental health problems, the organizer has also specially set up a “sensory viewing room” in the stadium to provide a safe and quiet space for fans with autism or other health problems who cannot go to the stands to watch the game. These rooms feature interactive displays throughout the game, controlled lighting and games to help them enjoy watching in comfort.
Cooling stadiums for this World Cup is a challenge, and Qatar’s engineers have been working on the use of air conditioning in stadiums since winning the bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Consider, for example, the control of temperature and humidity in outdoor spaces, as well as the enormous energy required for cooling systems.
Artificial intelligence makes referee decisions more accurate
The 1966 World Cup final with England’s shot over the line, the 1986 World Cup final with Diego Maradona’s famous “Hand of God” goal against England, and the 2018 World Cup in Russia Above, the decision made by the video assistant referee. Over the years, the judgment results and scale of World Cup matches have been the focus of controversy, and some wrong judgments are still being discussed even half a century later.
In this World Cup in Qatar, FIFA once again used “offside technology” to track the position of players’ hands and feet. This technology has been used in the Club World Cup and Arabian Cup held in Qatar. The technology uses artificial intelligence and an array of cameras around the stadium to track players’ body movements and instantly create virtual offside lines for referees. The new semi-automatic offside technology, installed on 12 dedicated tracking cameras under the stadium roof, tracks the football and each player up to 29 data points, calculating their exact position on the pitch 50 times per second. The 29 data points collected included all extremities relevant to offside calls. In addition, the Qatar World Cup also placed an inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor inside the football. The kick point can thus be detected very precisely. The inertial measurement unit sensor inside the ball is responsible for sending the momentum information of the football when it is in motion to 12 dedicated tracking cameras in the stadium, which will enable the VAR (Video Assistant Referee, Video Assistant Referee) to accurately detect the exact position of the ball . By combining body and football tracking data and applying artificial intelligence, the new technology provides automatic offside alerts to video referees in the video operations room. Video referees verify proposals by manually checking kick points and automatically created offside lines before informing the on-field referee. This process happens within seconds, meaning offside calls can be made faster and more accurately.
After confirmation by the video referee and the on-field referee, the system will use the exact same positional data points to generate a 3D animation detailing the position of the player’s limbs on the pitch. This 3D animation will show the offside situation in the best possible view, and then broadcast it on the big screens in the stadium, and will also be provided to the broadcast channel to inform all spectators in the clearest way.