World Cup 2022: How did traveling fans experience the tournament in Qatar?

Last Updated on December 7, 2022 by

At around 4.30am every day in Doha, the Adhan echoes around the city.

After hearing the Islamic call to prayer, worshipers make their way to their local mosque for Fajr (dawn) prayers.

Meanwhile, World Cup visitors are climbing back into their beds after leaving the Fifa fan festival – where games are shown on big screens, then concerts – when it closes at 2:00 .

Qatar has a population of less than three million people and more than 2,000 mosques, and a contrast in culture has been brought to the country for the first major international football tournament to be held in a Muslim state in the Middle East.

“It feels so special to see the excitement and laughter of the fans,” fan festival director Mead Al Emadi told BBC Sport. “We have welcomed people from all backgrounds and cultures to celebrate the best of football here.

“The intangible legacy of the World Cup is to see how much people are enjoying it.”


Prayer facilities ‘make it easy’

Prayer facilities 'make it easy'

Qatar is a conservative country but Sharia law is embedded in its constitution – homosexuality is illegal, and drinking alcohol in public is prohibited.

Surrounded by visitors from all over the world, Qataris are sticking to their traditions and beliefs – men, women and children are seen resplendent in their clothes and abayas (long robes) but with face paint and scarves and carrying flags.

Each stadium, including the media centres, has designated prayer rooms, which are often packed when it’s time for the next of the five daily prayers, and has a purpose-built mosque within its perimeter at Khalifa International Stadium.

During England’s first training session in Doha, the Maghrib (sunset) Adhan could be heard; at one match in Brazil at Stadium 974, the imam was seen wearing a Neymar shirt; and during the final group match at Al Janoub, a group used the Uruguayan flag as a prayer mat.

“If the World Cup hadn’t been held here, we probably wouldn’t have come [to Qatar],” says Faizal, who traveled from Yorkshire with his father and brother.

“The prayer facilities here help us very easily, be it in the fan festival, the souq or the stadium. It was beautiful to see tourists from all over the world attending the mosques and who are really interested in Islam and Arab culture.

“Halal food is essential for us and it would probably be a struggle in other countries, so it’s a big advantage for us to have access to halal food wherever we are.”

Three of the stadiums are also equipped with sensory rooms, an external link, allowing fans with access needs to experience the game away from the large crowds and loud music.

Stadium access has largely been ‘smooth’

Stadium access has largely been 'smooth'

Qatar has spent billions on infrastructure for the tournament, including the stadiums, multi-lane motorways and a brand new metro system.

Organizers have consistently claimed that three migrant workers died on stadium sites, with an additional 37 deaths of stadium workers off-site due to non-work causes, and disputed a report alleging up to 6,500 migrant workers died.

At the end of last month, World Cup chief executive Hassan Al Thawadi told TalkTV that around 400-500 migrant workers had died “as a result of World Cup-related work”.

However, Qatari officials quickly sought to clarify that figure, saying it was an estimate of deaths across all industry sectors, not just infrastructure sites linked to the competition.

With the most remote stadiums just 40 miles from the center of Doha, there were questions ahead of the World Cup about how the infrastructure would cope.

After an initial issue with Fifa’s ticketing app on the second day – which caused problems for hundreds of fans heading to matches in England and Wales – access to stadiums has largely gone smoothly.

With some of the stadiums a 20-minute walk or so from a metro station, hundreds of staff were on hand to direct people towards the venues, then shout “metro, this way” while pointing with giant foam fingers after the games.

England fan Ben lives in Doha, and attended the first game at Al Bayt – the furthest stadium outside the city.

“The logistics around the stadium were very smooth,” he said. “There were many buses going to the ground from the metro and many buses to get us back.

“He was also ready to go into the ground. The queue was long but it moved steadily and we were in within 20 minutes.

“But there was no food or water available in the congregation next to us, which was a bit of a farce.”

Holly, an England fan who traveled for the stage group, said: “What was really surprising was how easy it was to get to the stadiums and around the city. The metro was brilliant and you hardly have to wait.”

Another England supporter said fans could easily get to most of the stadiums, but those further away were “quite difficult to navigate”.

The long-term legacy of the tournament will be felt when foreign fans return home, however, and a Brazilian man who has lived in Qatar for eight years told us that the construction of the metro system will have a particular impact.

‘We feel much safer here’

'We feel much safer here'

Qatar has a low crime rate, so getting picked up or mugged on the street is unlikely. But security has been beefed up for the tournament, with plenty of police officers patrolling the metro and stadiums.

Japanese supporter Take said he felt “much safer here” than in Brazil eight years ago.

“You had to check your bags everywhere you went,” he said, reflecting on his experience in 2014. “Here, nothing.”

England fan Mike said: “This is a World Cup like any other – it’s so different, but it was brilliant. I went to the fan festival and there were so many fans around enjoying themselves from the event.

“Obviously you haven’t been drinking, and there was no trouble. It all feels so safe.”

Another England man, Holly, said: “There was some anxiety about coming, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a very different atmosphere to what we’re used to in English football.

“It’s a bit of a carnival atmosphere because there’s no booze and there’s no group of fans. I haven’t seen many European fans about it, but the South Americans have done that more.”

Atmosphere ‘as good as ever’ or ‘disappointing’?

Atmosphere 'as good as ever' or 'disappointing'?

In preparation for the tournament, it was unclear how many supporters would travel to Qatar and what the atmosphere would be like at the games.

More than a million fans are estimated to have made the trip, and few games have looked undersubscribed. In fact, Fifa said attendances at the group stage averaged 96% of stadium capacity.external-link

Most of the games were full of the colour, passion and noise you’d expect at any major tournament, although there were others that prompted people to post on social media that they felt “fake” or “fake”. .

The most obvious difference compared to previous tournaments is the reduction in the number of European fans. While the likes of Brazil and Argentina can be seen represented everywhere you go, it is unusual to see a supporter wearing a European football shirt away from the stadiums.

A German fan we met ahead of their draw with Spain said the atmosphere at European games was “disappointing” and a stark contrast to the 2006 tournament in his home country, where “100,000 a day at pitches fans… here it’s only 30,000 at the Corniche”.

The atmosphere in the stadiums was impressive, however, with Brazilian fan Dulce – who has lived in Doha for five years – saying it was “as good as ever”.

“We loved it,” she said. “I’m told there are about 30,000 Brazilian fans who came from South America, and 38,000 from Argentina.

“Just listen to the noise. You could be anywhere in the world and this noise is so loud and so good. I’m excited for what will happen later in the World Cup.”

‘Leaving behind LGBTQ+ supporters’

'Leaving behind LGBTQ+ supporters'

When we spoke to supporters who chose to travel to Qatar, of course, there are many fans who stayed away, with the decision to stage the World Cup in a country where homosexuality is widely condemned.

The organizers have always maintained that all visitors would be welcome regardless of race, religion, gender or sexuality, but they also said they hoped their laws and culture would be respected, and many LGBTQ+ fans said no they got the safety assurances they needed.

Days before the World Cup kicked off in Qatar, a group of fans said football is “leaving behind” its LGBT supporters.

A gay fan wrote in a diary for BBC News that while he never felt worried about his safety in Qatar, locals do not consider “gay fans part of the equation”.

A Qatari transgender woman also told BBC News: “I am very scared, but I want people to know that we are there.”

BBC News journalist Shaimaa Khalil wrote from Doha: “It feels like two parallel universes exist when it comes to the controversies surrounding this World Cup.

“For the supporters, the activists, the European teams and especially the seven captains who intended to wear the One Love band, this is an LGBT rights and human rights issue that they want to be vocal about .

“For Qatar as a host, and for those viewers who have come here or are watching around the Arab world – which has a large Muslim majority – this is about religion, culture, the norms of the region and above all respect they don’t have. they feel they are succeeding.”

‘Coffee is our beer’

Alcohol cannot be consumed in public in Qatar, and is usually only available for purchase at certain hotels or if you have a licence.

Two days before the start of the tournament, Fifa changed its policy and decided that alcohol would not be sold at the eight stadiums.

The tournament was largely trouble-free, apart from an incident that featured a fight between Argentina and Mexico supporters.

In Msheireb – the central area of ​​Doha where there are several restaurants with al fresco dining – we spoke to a fan wearing a Scotland shirt and his two friends enjoying a soft drink.

When asked how he felt not having alcohol readily accessible, he said: “It wasn’t a problem at all. In fact, it made us feel a little bit better.”

The Ecuadorian fan, who now lives in Saudi Arabia, said he drinks alcohol in his home country and that it is a “big way of life”. He admitted that it was “very difficult for a few weeks” after he got used to not drinking alcohol and having parties, but he is used to what it is like in Qatar and has an alternative now.

“Here, coffee is like our beer,” he said. “People are lining up for ages for coffee.”

Get the latest results and goal announcements for any team at the Fifa World Cup by downloading the BBC Sport app: Appleexternal-link – Androidexternal-link – Amazonexternal-link

Get your daily dose of reaction, debate & Fifa World Cup; analysis by World Cup Daily on BBC Sounds

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is expected to bring in $4.7 billion in revenue. Host countries rely on the economic impact of the tournament to generate revenue, and there are both short-term and long-term economic impacts.

Is FIFA still free on Steam?

It’s one of the best sports games on PC, and now FIFA 22 – the latest game in the popular football franchise – is completely free to play on Steam.

Is FIFA still free on PC? You can now download FIFA 22 for free on PC, PS4, PS5, and Xbox. Even if you haven’t bought the game yet, you will still be able to play EA FIFA 22.

How long is FIFA 2022 free for?

Yes, you can play FIFA 22 for free with PS Plus! You have all of May 2022 to at least add the game to your library.

Can you play FIFA online for free?

You can play FIFA International Soccer online here, in the web browser for free!

Is FIFA 22 free on Steam?

It’s one of the best sports games on PC, and now FIFA 22 – the latest game in the popular football franchise – is completely free on Steam.

Is FIFA 2022 for free?

FIFA World Cup 2022 will be held in Qatar from November 20 to December 18 and fans in India can watch the upcoming football event live on TV and online live streaming for free.

Is FIFA 21 still free?

You can get FIFA 21, but it’s only 10 hours of playtime (it’s just a trial). FIFA 20 and other older versions are free on ea play, but ea play pro has the full FIFA 21.

Do you get FIFA 21 free with EA Play?

SEE EA.COM/EA-PLAY/TERMS. AGE RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY. Entitle FIFA 21 on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One before the release of FIFA 22 and upgrade your game to the equivalent next-generation console (PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X) at no additional cost. • Disc upgrade is not available for the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition.

Is FIFA 22 free now?

EA Fifa 22 will be available on October 1, 2021. Download FIFA 22 and play for free.

What is Qatar going to do with stadiums after World Cup?

Qatar says the stadium will be completely dismantled after the World Cup and could be shipped to countries that need the infrastructure. Outside experts have praised the design but say more information is needed about what will happen to the stadium after the event.


How much did Dubai pay for the World Cup?

Race information
PurseUS$12 million (2022 race)

Who is the highest paid player in the World Cup 2022?

French superstar Kylian Mbappé is in charge while Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo are in pursuit of international glory one last time.

How much are World Cup winners paid? The 2022 World Cup Final represents $72 million of the $440 million purse. The tournament champion will bank $42 million in winnings. There is a $12 million difference between first and second place in this year’s World Cup, and $30 million for second place.

Do players get paid to play in the World Cup?

And it only gets more lucrative from there: If the United States were to lead the Dutch and lose in the quarterfinals, each American player would make $383,000, and they would receive $559,000 for fourth, $696,000 for third, $794,000 for second place and $892,000 for winning the championship.

Who is the best player in FIFA World Cup 2022?

Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi among the top scorers of FIFA World Cup 2022: These footballers are in the race for Golden Boot? Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi are among the favorites to win the Golden Boot this year. Kylian Mbappe (5) is currently leading the race to win the Golden Boot at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Who is richest player in the World 2022?

Messi was the highest paid athlete in the world on the Forbes list for the first time in 2019. He topped the list again in 2022 with total earnings of USD 130 million.

What channels play the World Cup?

TV Channel: The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be broadcast live across FOX Sports (FOX and FS1) in English and on Telemundo in Spanish.

How to watch the World Cup 2022 for free? If you want to catch soccer games without paying for a cable subscription or streaming, an indoor HD digital TV antenna is the way to go. It will deliver free live World Cup coverage on TV in your area (maximum range is 150 miles), as well as other over-the-air content available in your area.

Which Channel to watch World Cup in usa?

You can watch every game of the tournament on the FOX Sports family of networks – the tournament’s official English broadcast partner in the United States – and on the FOX Sports app and

Will World Cup 2022 be televised?

The quarter-finals will begin on Friday with the Netherlands-Argentina and Croatia-Brazil, and on Saturday with Morocco-Portugal and England-France. All games air in the US on Fox, Telemundo and Peacock). The semi-finals are December 13-14 before the final on Sunday, December 18.

How to watch World Cup 2022 in usa?

Where can I watch the World Cup? The FIFA World Cup will air on FOX, FS1,, the FOX Sports App, and stream for free on Tubi.

Who will be televising the World Cup 2022?

English-language coverage of the World Cup is available on the FOX broadcast network and Fox Sports 1, both of which are available through the following streaming MVPDs: Fubo TV (purchase subscription), YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV and Stream DirecTV.

How to watch World Cup 2022 live free?

Free ways to watch the FIFA World Cup In addition to the games broadcast on Fox Sports, fans can catch some World Cup games for free on Peacock, as well as watch all soccer games for free in free on Tubi.