Crowded fan zone turns thousands away before Qatar World Cup games
By Mike McNeill 22 April 2016
On April 15, during the Qatari World Cup qualifying matches between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan—which ended in a 2-2 draw—thousands of Qatari men and women, including children, crowded the streets, spilling out into the streets and surrounding the stadium.
Many were chanting “death to America,” as the US men’s national team prepared for their first game in the Gulf State last Sunday.
Around the stadium, many more were chanting for the Saudi Arabia flag, as the country’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, welcomed his subjects to the country with a televised speech to the nation and a speech by a young girl.
“We are all Saudi Arabia,” said the child, a young girl dressed in a short black dress. “We are all one hand. We are all one nation,” she added.
A Saudi woman, who was dressed in a light-blue dress with red sleeves, also addressed the crowd, thanking the fans for their support and the national team for their efforts.
At the stadium, thousands of people queued up outside to watch the match on large screens. They then queued outside again to watch the Crown Prince’s speech on large screens. Many of those outside were chanting “Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia,” and “death to America” as well as waving the national flag and shouting “Death to America, die!”
Saudi female fan shouts with others behind the women’s national team before their match against UAE in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, April 13, 2016. (Ibraheem Abu Khdeir)
Many of the fans were young, with the vast majority of the people being young adults.
These fans showed contempt for the world they live in, but are still entitled to feel entitled to buy any amount of beer they want to. They cheered for the Saudi women’s team, which they clearly regard as weak, rather than for the US men or for Qatar.
The crowds of mostly young men and women could also be seen outside the stadium before the match between Qatar and Al Rayyan. This was after the Al Sadd stadium was closed down on purpose, with the organizers saying they wanted nothing to disrupt the crowds that had come to watch the match, or the match itself