Words, water shortage Maru World Cup Trial

“Stop. Can’t you see the subway station is full? Marshals in green vests fold their arms to contain the thousands of fans streaming from the stadium where the football World Cup final will be held in Qatar.” Inside, an upset supervisor shouted.

It was just after midnight on Friday, with nearly 78,000 people in attendance for hours after a nearly sold-out game to test the readiness of the small Gulf state for a tournament starting November 20. people were queuing out of the stadium.

“Let’s go through. We have children,” cried a man carrying a sweaty toddler.

Photo: Reuters

“I need water. Do you have water?” cried a woman from behind the line.


The stadium’s stands ran out of water by halftime, and there was nothing outside. The temperature in late summer was 34°C for him, but it felt much hotter because of the humidity.

Photo: Reuters

Friday’s match, dubbed the Lusail Super Cup, was the first time the new Lusail Stadium had such a large crowd. With 80,000 seats, it is the largest of his eight World Cup stadiums in Qatar and is a gold-clad showpiece designed to host the final on 18 December.

Qatar is the first Middle Eastern country to host a World Cup and the smallest country ever. We’ve spent billions on infrastructure, but we’ve never organized an event of this scale. This is unusual for a World Cup, being held in or around one city.

Four matches will be played each day around Doha over the first 12 days of the tournament. FIFA, the governing body of world football, said 2.45 million out of 3 million tickets had already been sold, with an unprecedented 1.2 million people expected to visit, representing almost half of Qatar’s population. says there is.

Organizers said exactly 77,575 people went through the turnstiles on Friday. This was the largest crowd ever in Qatar. Families brought their young children to the stadium before Egyptian singer Amr Diab’s performance. Hundreds of Saudi fans wore the blue jerseys of Al-Hilal, his team in Saudi Arabia, who beat Egypt’s Zamalek on penalties after his 1-1 draw.

Hundreds of South Asian and African workers also flocked to sections of the stadium wearing the same white, blue or red T-shirts as immigrants frequently drove in buses to fill the empty arena. They left en masse at halftime and boarded the bus.

Asked about the early issues, the organizer’s spokesperson, the Supreme Commission for Delivery and Legacy, said the game was designed to identify operational issues and learn the lessons of a ‘seamless’ World Cup. said.

“All teams involved in organizing the event gained valuable experience to bring to this year’s tournament,” the spokesperson added in a statement.

In the chaos after the game, one fan left the stadium swearing, elbowing a marshal in the neck, breaking through a cordon and several others trying to get on the subway.

The station’s entrance is 400 meters from the stadium, but fans waited in a 2.5-kilometer line to and from the vacant lot.

Eslam, an Egyptian fan who has lived in Doha since 2004, put his arm around his exhausted, red-eyed friend in line. “I don’t want to go to the World Cup anymore.

Some suppliers, caterers, security personnel and medical staff have had difficulty accessing the stadium, the supplier said.

“Even some ambulances were driving around trying to figure out where they should be placed. was from,” said the supplier.

The stadium cooling system, which Qatar describes as state-of-the-art, struggled to keep the stands cool. Humidity and temperatures will drop once the tournament begins, but there are other challenges.

Unlike Fridays, ticket holders will be able to have a beer outside the stadium before and after each match.

Friday’s game was also a test of stadium security. Near the pitch, guards dressed in black and wearing baseball caps were posted every few meters in the aisles to keep an eye on the enthusiastic but well-behaved fans.

Outside, security guards patrolled the perimeter in groups of five men or five women, each with hook-shaped batons hanging from their belts. Some were clutching the handcuffs of the zip ties.

Preparation goes far beyond the stadium.

To prevent road congestion across the only border with Saudi Arabia, organizers cleared part of the desert for fans to park their cars and board buses to travel the 100 km desert highway to Doha. Move.

Authorities will limit vehicles on the roads ahead of the Games by ordering schools to close, banning vehicles from across the city and asking businesses to let their employees work from home.

Older airports have resumed operations to handle additional flights, and new passport control stands are being installed to triple the number of passengers Qatar can handle. Qatar Airways has changed 70% of its flight schedule to secure more landing slots during the tournament.

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