FIFA 2022 World Cup: Protest Kits, Sobering Tents and Football Fans Unable to Watch Games On TV in Qatar
The World Cup is now only weeks away, and a raft of interesting stories have started to filter through, some of which are not wholly positive.
There were always concerns around the World Cup being played in Qatar; initially, these were chiefly in relation to the heat that players would be subjected to (hence the moving of the tournament to November and December), but there have also been issues related to the country’s treatment of foreign workers, and now it appears other matters have cropped up.
Usually, with a big tournament on the horizon, a national team will take the opportunity to put out a new kit and look to make a killing from the relevant sales. Still, it appears that some countries are using 2022 as a chance to stage something of a protest.
The Danish national team will be wearing ‘toned down’ kits where the kit provider, Hummel, has deliberately kept things low-key. The brand has stated publicly that they ‘don’t wish to be visible’ at the tournament, and as such, you can barely see their logo or the national team badge.
This is the case for both their red and black kits, and they have removed the logos entirely from their training kits, instead replacing them with messages that are critical of Qatar and its regime.
An official Hummel statement includes the following;
“We wish to make a statement about Qatar’s human rights record and its treatment of the migrant workers that have built the country’s World Cup stadiums.”
“We believe that sport should bring people together. And when it doesn’t, we want to make a statement.”
Sources have reported that as many as 6500 migrant workers have died since Qatar won its World Cup bid.
Qatar’s anti-LGBT laws have also led to protests from other nations. England captain Harry Kane will wear a OneLove armband for the tournament, while other nations will do likewise.
World Cup TV Blackout
If you are a football fan who is planning to visit Qatar, maybe to watch a game or soak in the atmosphere of the event as a whole, you may be surprised to hear that you are unlikely to be able to catch a game on TV while you are there.
Hotels in the region are refusing to pay the fee to show games, and as a result, tourists won’t be able to watch the games, which will, of course, reduce the enjoyment of being there for the World Cup finals.
By all accounts, it’s believed to cost around £24k for hotels to show the games, and they have decided against paying the sum. This is also apparently going to affect those who have rented villas or apartments.
The cost of staying in Qatar at a hotel or an apartment is incredibly high, and for those who have already paid for these stays to now find out they can’t watch games in their rooms or in the hotel bars, and restaurants will be a real blow.
No doubt many football fans who journey to Qatar will want to indulge in some FIFA World Cup betting, and therefore being able to actually watch the games, either in the stadiums or at a hotel or other location, is key to their enjoyment of this pastime.
Booze on Tap
One potential good news story comes in relation to Qatar’s strict alcohol laws. It seems that the state is ready to give the country’s 60 licensed hotels the permission needed to serve alcohol 17 hours a day and would even reduce the price, which will please many who are going to the tournament to watch games and socialize.
Currently, the designated FIFA Fan Zone is the only viable option for football fans looking for something close to a party atmosphere, but amazingly access to the location would cost £75 just to enter, and the capacity is only 40,000.
This is one of the reasons why Qatar is considering relaxing the general rules around alcohol for the duration of the World Cup finals.