Scientists at Qatar University claim to have developed the technology to create artificial clouds capable of providing shade for stadia and training grounds at the 2022 World Cup.
The searing summer heat in the Gulf, where temperatures in June and July can reach up to 50C, has led to concerns about conditions for players and fans at the tournament.
Qatar were announced as hosts in December, and FIFA president Sepp Blatter initially said he expected the 2022 competition to be moved to winter, but he has since confirmed that the tournament will go ahead as planned in the summer months.
Qatar plan to air condition their World Cup stadia via solar power, and now scientists have designed the ‘clouds’, which can be produced at a cost of $500,000.
Saud Abdul Ghani, head of the mechanical and industrial engineering department at the university, said the ‘clouds’ are made from a lightweight carbon structure, and carry a giant envelope of material containing helium gas.
Four solar-powered engines move the structure via remote control.
Qatari president of the Asian Football Confederation Mohammed Bin Hammam, who will stand against Blatter for the FIFA presidency in June, insists his country is “well equipped to challenge the summer heat”.