FIFA’s determination sparked criticism from some guests, however many Qatar-based followers – together with households – again the transfer.
Doha, Qatar – Abdulla Murad Ali put his arms on his coronary heart and stated his nation welcomes everybody coming for the World Cup.
The Qatari banker needs soccer followers to deal with the occasion’s host nation as their second dwelling. His solely request? They need to additionally respect its tradition.
“Qatar is an Islamic nation, and alcohol is ‘haram’ [forbidden] in our faith. All we ask is for the world to point out some ‘ehtaram’ (respect) for our tradition,” he instructed Al Jazeera on Monday, a day after the opening match of the match.
Ali was referring to the furore amongst some followers about FIFA’s determination final Friday to ban alcohol at match venues. Liquor will nonetheless be accessible at chosen resorts, bars and the official FIFA Fan Zone.
However, the choice by worldwide soccer’s governing authority has been criticised by some followers for its timing. Within the lead-up to England’s first recreation of the match towards Iran on Monday, a couple of disgruntled followers have been seen complaining a couple of lack of information for his or her “consuming tradition”.
Some have been seen asking mall safety, a lot to the latter’s bemusement, for instructions to a spot the place they may discover an alcoholic drink. Just a few followers that Al Jazeera spoke to on Friday stated they really feel like they’ve been misled by FIFA.
“If FIFA have been to ban alcohol when Qatar was introduced the host, it might have been totally different,” Federico Farraz, a soccer fan from Portugal, stated whereas consuming a cup of tea in Doha’s Souq Waqif. “Even when the choice got here a couple of months earlier than the match, individuals who have been planning for this journey for years would have understood.”
However for others, the choice — which FIFA stated adopted discussions with the host nation — got here as a reduction.
Sonia Nemmas is a Jordanian mom of three women raised in a football-mad family. The household has tickets to a late-night match and is apprehensive about being at a stadium the place drunk followers may probably be in attendance.
“Once we go to different international locations, we don’t ask them why we’re being requested to comply with their guidelines or respect their tradition,” she stated with a shrug. “We simply do it.” On Friday night, the weekend in Qatar, she was out in Doha’s downtown space to take part in festivities.
Her daughters have been together with her, carrying the keffiyeh in a nod to their Jordanian id, whereas displaying their assist for Qatar by carrying the host nation’s flags and hats.
Nemmas referred to the alcohol-fuelled violence that broke out at Wembley Stadium in the course of the ultimate of the Euro 2020 championship in England final yr. It’s not one thing she needs to see in Qatar.
Whereas some England followers have voiced their unhappiness with the ban on social media and in public, others stated it wouldn’t cease them from having a very good time.
Ahmed Muhammad, a Doha-based faculty instructor from England, stated it was unfair to color all English followers with the identical brush. “England followers are usually proven to be hooligans however that’s only a small minority,” he stated whereas soaking within the ambiance at Souq Waqif together with his younger son. “The bulk are respectful and do comply with the principles.”
Muhammed stated that whereas there might be some sad English followers, most would respect the choice and luxuriate in themselves.
That shouldn’t be laborious in any respect, instructed Ali, the Qatari banker, who attended the opening ceremony and Sunday’s Qatar-Ecuador recreation. In spite of everything, he identified, individuals who reside in and comply with soccer in Muslim international locations do it with out alcohol on a regular basis.
“Being a Muslim nation, this what we would like individuals to know — which you can benefit from the recreation with out a beer in hand,” he stated. “Soccer is for everybody, not only for individuals who wish to drink beer.”
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