“We were all frozen to death”, supporters complain about the air conditioning

Many spectators complained about the coolness in the stadium on Sunday during the opening match of the World Cup between Qatar and Ecuador (0-2) because of the air conditioning.

Journalists who have put on their jackets, well-dressed supporters… There was a strange atmosphere in the stands of the Al-Bayt stadium on Sunday during the opening match of the World Cup between Qatar and Ecuador (0-2 ). While the mercury was only 25 degrees outside, the organizers turned on the air conditioning to lower it to 20 degrees during the meeting… while leaving the roof open.

The feeling even lower still among some Ecuadorian supporters that their team’s easy victory has not been warmed. “We were all frozen to death, named Angelica, Ecuadorian supporter, at the microphone of RMC Sport. In Ecuador, we have regions where it is cold but here, it was worse than at home or at home in Europe. We had our feet frozen. We covered ourselves with our flag. We wanted them to turn off that air conditioning.”

“It is too cold”

A freshness also felt among some local fans like Faisal Rasheed, a 40-year-old Qatari supporter quoted by the Associated Press agency. “It’s actually too cold,” he said, noting that the air conditioning “worked well” while wondering if it was needed in the windy, desert night. “It’s actually a little cold tonight,” Mario Sanchez, a 33-year-old American fan, told AP, “but that’s because it’s really windy,” he said.

The World Cup is taking place during the winter months in Qatar instead of the traditional June-July window after organizers moved it in 2015 due to concerns over scorching summer temperatures. Qatar has spent billions to build seven air-conditioned outdoor World Cup stadiums. Doha’s 974 Stadium is the only venue that will not be cooled, but it will only host night matches. The first test of the air conditioning will take place this Monday during the match between England and Iran, the first program in the afternoon (4 p.m. local time, against 7 p.m. Sunday during Qatar-Ecuador).

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