With the World Cup always held in the European off-season in June and July, the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar offers the prospect of players and spectators sweating through the hottest part of the year. Doha sees an average top temperature of 41 degrees Celsius (106°F) in these months with the possibility of top temperatures as high as 50°C (122°F). While shifting the World Cup to the cooler month of January has been mooted and since rejected, a team of engineering scientists from Qatar University (QU) have taken a more high-tech approach to solving the problem – they've reportedly developed a type of artificial "cloud" designed to float above the World Cup venues and provide fans and players with relief from the blazing sun.

The proposed stadiums for the World Cup unveiled a year ago – which included the Lusail Iconic Stadium – would all employ cooling technology capable of reducing temperatures inside by up to 20°C (36°F), but concerns remain about training grounds.

The artificial clouds system was invented by a team led by Dr Saul Abdul Ghani, Head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at QU, who told Gulf News that the "clouds" would be made from a lightweight carbon structure carrying a giant envelope of material containing helium gas. The "cloud" would also feature solar panels on its upper surface to power engines that allow the cloud to be moved via remote control.

The system would initially cost around US$500,000, with prices coming down with commercial scale production. It's unclear whether the clouds will actually be built. With still eleven years till the kick off of the 2022 World Cup, the long term forecast is mainly sunny with a chance of cloud.