Despite the recent countdown to the World Cup in Qatar, skepticism still surrounds the tournament, amidst international concerns about the number of fans who will be able to attend the tournament, in addition to greater concerns about Qatar’s handling of these fans despite Doha’s attempts to come up with reassuring statements from time to time.
The British newspaper “The Guardian” says: Six months after Senegal’s showdown with the Netherlands at Al-Thumamah Stadium in the opening match, uncertainty hangs over the World Cup to be held in Qatar. These concerns range from human rights to logistical and practical matters, such as how many fans will attend? What kind of treatment will they find there?
According to the Guardian, the first question is the most pressing and there is no definitive answer; the signs seem to point in a clear direction, and the Doha World Football Carnival seems dubious, explaining that as of the writing of this report, FIFA had sold 800,000 match tickets to the public. That’s 3.1 million seats, just over a quarter of the total. And 2.5 million tickets were sold to fans in Russia four years ago, with a capacity of just over three million.
The Guardian argues that Qatar has a long way to go if it hopes to find numbers of fans like Russia, or even get close to it.
The British newspaper noted that at the end of this month FIFA will reveal the results of the second tranche of sales, pointing out that the board of directors announced the fact that it received 23.5 million ticket requests as part of this process, but observers noted that it does not require anyone to buy, and that tickets for the knockout matches can be sold several times, with ticket holders leaving their teams.
Reports from various countries seem to support Qatar’s poor image, as England has not sold out its stakes for the group matches or the upcoming knockout matches. Only the match against Scotland or Wales came close (possibly), with over-subscribers in two of the three ticket categories. Reports from France suggest that their travel support will be less than a quarter of what it was in Russia.
For the participants, getting a ticket indicates a second period of uncertainty. Once you have a ticket, you can apply to the Qatari government for a permit to enter the country, known as a Hayya card. You cannot book a flight before that, and you must visit the Qatar Resident Agency to find a place to stay. Since it launched its online portal in March, there has been confusion about what kind of rooms are available and at what price.
The Guardian said: It’s often futile to look for a $80-a-night promised accommodation, and a headquarters like the unwanted Van Village Cabin starts at $200 a night, and AirBnB-style apartments cost about $1,000. It remains unclear about turnout, but it may be clear in the second phase of sales.
The calculations of football fans in Europe predict that this will be the most expensive World Cup for fans traveling by a narrow margin. “According to her figures, the cost of staying in three group matches is €2,770, compared to €1,000 during Russia’s 2018 war”. He said staying in the entire championship would be more than 6,500 euros.
“It’s clearly hard for most fans to know what the cost of the World Cup will be for them”, said Ronan Evin, CEO of FSE. “To book a flight or hotel, you need tickets first, so you have to pay to know how much it will cost. There’s a constant lack of information about the process, and what’s hard to understand; Nothing is clearly written on paper. FIFA and Qatar seem to be doing their best to convince people not to go”.
According to the Guardian, there is a cheap class of tickets available only to local people, and possibly to fans traveling from neighboring countries, although this is unlikely to happen every game (flights from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Doha to watch Belgium v. Canada will still start at £500).