From refrigerated stadiums to desalinated water, Qatar is doing what it can to maintain it football pitches in tip in tall shape for the next FIFA World Cup, the first be held in Middle East.
Winter will come soon football stages in Hot Qatar when the gardeners have cooled down air of departure in September to ensure the turf thrives in the desert country.
Imitating the winter in the Gulf state, where temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the fall, is just one trick experts have introduced over the last 14 years to improve the quality of the turf and increase its number of football pitches.
An elite body of gardeners now maintain 144 lush green fields – eight stadium fields and 136 training fields. They got cold air through nozzles directly to the turf, tending to be luxuriant patches of dotted green in medium gray or gray of The desert and the concrete of Qatar.
“The weather condition and climate together with the level of performance criteria we have set for ourselves makes it extremely difficult to develop the product we do need. But we did, ”said Haitham al Shareef, a Sudanese civil engineer who it worked on The fields of Qatar since 2007.
Preparation of the turf for the world Cup, in a dry region like the Middle East could be costly, financially and environmental.
Qatar flies in 140 tons of semi of weed each year from the United States on air-conditioned planes, al Shareef said, and the pitches are irrigated with desalinated sea water, in an energy-intensive process that burns the country’s wealth of natural gas.
Each pitch requires 10,000 liters of desalinated water every day in winter and 50,000 liters in the summer, him added.
Wear and tear
The 28 days event begins in November in perhaps the most difficult moment of year for durable turf, such as that of Qatar weather transitions from hot summer to mild winter.
Some grass varieties go dormant due to temperatures rise and the winter ryegrass takes root, making itself suitable growth a challenge between matches.
“When you have signs of wear, you want the grass to keep growing to recover, “al Shareef said.” If you sow the field too early, you will have germination, but the winter grass will not really grow, in reality die because it’s too hot “.
So gardeners trigger winter in September, sowing pitches with ryegrass in a practice that has over the last three years have produced durable fields.
Qatar has also thwarted the risk of outbreaks of fungi and diseases with a maintenance regime involving chemical cocktails, lawn mowers sucking up debris and a subsoil system which sucks in moisture in excess, said a UEFA pitch consultant.
“Six one disease outbreak from failure”said consultant Dean Gilasbey, who he trained gardeners around the world.
Qatar says is prepared for any turf emergency.
A reserve of 425,000 square meters of grass – about 40 football fields worth – is growing in a farm north of Doha.
It can be collected, transported by truck in one stage and laid down ready for play in just eight hours said Mohamed al Atwaan, who worked as a project manager on Stage 974.
The organizers have declined to say how very turf program has cost Qatar. The country has spent billions on infrastructure over the last decade to prepare for the event.