Their national teams are not participating in the World Cup..Why do these fans travel to Qatar?

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Football fans flock to Qatar to support their national teams during the World Cup, but surprisingly, even those whose national teams did not participate in the competition, also flock to live the atmosphere of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

“Football is our life”

  Why did these fans travel to the World Cup in Qatar despite the absence of their national teams?
Uruguay fans take to the streets ahead of the start of the soccer World Cup in Qatar at Souq Waqif on November 17th. , plain_textCredit: Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Some have accused fans, whose national teams are not participating in the event, of being used to create an impression of excitement in what some say may lack the usual excitement due to the controversy over the host nation in the Middle East.

Qatar 2022 organizers and FIFA denied the allegations. “We are a group of fans from the state of Kerala in southern India,” one fan told CNN. “India is not in the tournament, and we have always loved England. We used to watch David Beckham in action, so we are excited and support England in the Qatar World Cup.”

These fans represent a broader theme for Qatar 2022, which has allowed many to enjoy the atmosphere of the World Cup.

Jordanian Ali Abadi, who is currently residing in Dubai, spoke with CNN while exploring Souq Waqif, which has become a center for fan activity. “I am here because it is a good opportunity, and the event is very close to our country,” noting that “in 2018, it was The World Cup (in Russia) is very far away, but now we feel the World Cup is at home.”

“In the Middle East, we always watch football. Football is our life,” stressed the Jordanian.

You don’t have to be a fan of a team

  Why did these fans travel to the World Cup in Qatar despite the absence of their national teams?
Ali Ebadi will support the Argentina national team. , plain_textCredit: Ben Church/CNN

The 35-year-old Jordanian proudly wore the Argentina national team jersey, and he was certainly not alone.

Blue and white are the most popular colors in Doha this week, and almost all shirts have Messi’s name on the back.

Not only does this show the famous player’s charisma, but also the influence his current club, Paris Saint-Germain, has on the world.

But unlike many people who support South America at this year’s tournament, that’s not why Abadi is rooting for him. “I supported Argentina even before Messi. Messi is doing a great job, but I have supported Argentina for more than 15 years,” he explained.

It is noteworthy that the Saudi national team had defeated the Argentine national team, with two goals to one, in the confrontation that brought the two teams together on the grounds of Lusail Stadium, on Tuesday, in the first round of the group stage, in the 2022 World Cup.

Apparently, you don’t need to be passionate about a team to enjoy the World Cup.

The Chinese, Fei Bing, traveled to Qatar to watch the tournament with his friends, and CNN met him while he was staying in a fan village.

“It’s perfect”

  Why did these fans travel to the World Cup in Qatar despite the absence of their national teams?
This couple lives in one of the fan villages. , plain_textCredit: Ben Church/CNN

Competition for accommodations is likely to intensify, as Qatar could host around 1.5 million fans over the course of the month-long tournament, which began on November 20.

“This is a really good opportunity to visit a host country that is smaller than my city (Beijing),” Peng, who was given tickets for 35 matches during the tournament, told CNN. “We can get the chance to attend many matches, it’s perfect.”

When asked about the team he will support during the World Cup, Ping indicated that he does not have any favorite team, but he wants South Korea and Japan to perform well.

“Since I’m Asian, I want the Asian teams to perform well, but I’m just looking forward to seeing good results,” the Chinese explained.

Just a few doors down from where CNN met Peng, Jimmy and Kennis Long are in the residence that will be their home for the next 16 days.

The duo flew to Qatar from Hong Kong, but unlike Peng, they have a favorite team.

Jamie was wearing the orange of the Netherlands, and said: “The team has great players, a great history, and I love the team. I want to see all their matches in the group stage.”

Amidst all the criticism of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the tournament undoubtedly provided an opportunity for people to enjoy one of the biggest sporting events in the world for the first time. Organizers hope this will help justify the decision to allow tiny Qatar to host the World Cup like no other.

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