Alcohol, cruise ships, rainbow flags: what awaits fans at Qatar World Cup | World Cup 2022

When will tickets sell out?

Early in the new year. Prices are yet to be revealed, but a Qatar 2022 spokesman told the Guardian that tickets will be “affordable for the whole family” and in line with recent World Cups. For those with money to burn, executive packages are already available. These start at $ 950 (£ 707) per person per “match club” package, which includes a group ticket, “street food” food, a gift and drinks including beer and wine – while the more extravagant “Pearl Lounge” experience, with good eating, “mixologists, Champagne selection, sommelier and high-quality spirits” starts at $ 4,950 per head.

Can ordinary fans buy alcohol in the stadium?

A decision is yet to be made, although the expectation is that it is more likely than not. In Qatar the sale of alcohol is limited to a few luxury hotels and is expensive at £ 10- £ 15 for beer or wine. However for the World Cup it will be easier to buy and more affordable. During the 2019 Club World Cup, for example, the Cathars experimented with a “wet fanzine”, with beer, wine and cider sold for around £ 5 – a similar plan is likely to be in place for the 2022 World Cup.

A fan is not expected to be allowed to drink alcohol in stadiums in Qatar. Photo: Lars Ronbog / FrontzoneSport / Getty Images

How strict they are authorities are likely to be with drunken fans?

Under Qatari law it is an offense to be drunk in public. The hope of organizers is that fans will understand that they are in a conservative country and moderate their behavior. The sight of English fans driving a makeshift beer snake along the Corniche of Doha is unlikely to go down well. “This is ultimately a conservative but hospitable country,” says one insider. “So there has to be an understanding on both sides that people have to come and have fun, while respecting the culture.”

How ready are the catarrhs ​​for problems?

With eight stadiums within a 50-mile radius and most fans remaining in Doha, there is clearly the potential for trouble. However organizers insist they are rigorously prepared for all contingencies, have attended many major tournaments since 2011 to learn how supporters behave at major events. They have also had a partnership with Interpol called Project Stadia since 2012, which they say will equip them to deal with any problem. “Everything has been done to make sure it’s a safe experience for fans,” insists one insider.

Where will the fans stay?

Organizers expect more than a million visitors during the 28-day event, but with only 30,000 hotel rooms in the country they have to rely on other forms of accommodation. Under an agreement with Accor the French company will provide staff to manage and operate more than 60,000 rooms in apartments and villas across Qatar. The idea is that fans will get what organizers call “quality housing at a fair price” – while Qatar won’t be loaded with thousands of hotel rooms they don’t need after the World Cup.

Is it possible to stay on a cruise ship?

Yes. Organizers have hired two huge ships, with swimming pools and spas, that offer a combined capacity of 4,000 cabins. The expectation is that alcohol will also be available – although the top committee, responsible for delivery of the tournament, has nervously downplayed talk of “party boats” and “boo cruises”. Plans to allow fans to stay in luxury tents in the desert are also being worked out.

Will rainbow flags be allowed in stadiums?

Dutch fans hold the rainbow flag during Euro 2020. Will the flag be displayed in Qatar?
Dutch fans hold the rainbow flag during Euro 2020. Will the flag be displayed in Qatar? Photo: Hollandse Hoogte / Shutterstock

Yes. Qatar has said it will comply with FIFA rules promoting tolerance and inclusion at matches, despite its strict anti-LGBTQ + laws. As Fifa’s chief social responsibility and education officer Joyce Cook says, “I’m openly a gay woman in football, so this personally is something I’m close to. We’ll see a progressive change in all of those aspects, and rainbow flags. “T-shirts will all be welcome in the stadium – that’s a given. They understand very well that this is our attitude.”

What about gay supporters?

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, with a 2004 law providing imprisonment for one to three years for sodomy between men. However, the Cathars have repeatedly insisted that everyone will be welcome, regardless of nationality, gender and sexual orientation. They also stress that the country has a more conservative culture and fans will be asked to respect local standards – which is wrinkled due to public displays of love.

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Is it be sure for a gay man and her husband to visit?

Yes, according to Paul Amann, the founder of the Liverpool Kop Outs fan group. Amann, who visited Qatar with his partner during the 2019 Club World Cup, said he was initially worried about going after an invitation from organizers. However, what he found surprised him. “It has a very terrible law on the statute, don’t get me wrong,” he says. “But my husband and I walked around Doha’s Cornice, and went to the museum and visited the juice at night, we felt completely safe. But we respected the legal situation there, which covers both heterosexuals, as well as LGBT + people. We made no public estimates. But then we rarely do it in the UK. “

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