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World Cup Worries Mount With 100 Days (Give or Take) to Go


How the tournament — with a couple of million visitors expected to go to — will likely be secured also still has not been articulated. Qatar has signed policing agreements with several nations, notably Turkey, which in January said it might be providing greater than 3,000 security personnel, including riot police, for a tournament through which fans of the 32 competing nations — a few of them bitter rivals — will rub shoulders for weeks in an area smaller than the state of Connecticut.

  • A Last-Minute Change: Only months before the tournament, FIFA is considering a request for the event to start out in the future earlier, allowing Qatar to be featured in the primary match.
  • Chile’s Failed Bid: The country’s soccer federation had argued Ecuador must be ejected from the tournament to the advantage of the Chilean team. FIFA disagreed.
  • Golden Sunset: This 12 months’s World Cup will probably be the last for stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo — a profound watershed for soccer.
  • Senegalese Pride: Aliou Cissé, the most effective soccer coaches in Africa, has given Senegal a latest sense of patriotism. Next up: the World Cup.

Unofficially, Qatari officials have said the imported security officers won’t be in direct contact with fans. But to date — and in contrast to for previous World Cups — scant detail on that matter, and several other others, has been publicly available. Asked two days ago for clarification on questions on several World Cup topics, Qatari officials have yet to reply.

There have also been concerns about accommodation, with delays in the discharge of rooms to the general public and fans reporting a scarcity of availability on a portal reserved for ticket-holders, who’re expected to be the one foreigners who will likely be allowed to enter Qatar through the monthlong World Cup. (This guidance, too, stays unclear as of this week.)

Those that have managed to search out accommodations, which might only be booked after fans have paid for tickets, have complained about high prices even within the rare cases where they’ve found availability.

Ronan Evain, the manager director of Football Supporters Europe, an umbrella organization of fan groups, said the numbers of official fan groups traveling to Qatar to support European teams probably will likely be significantly lower than for the last World Cup, which was held in Russia. The defending World Cup champion France, in a single example, expects only 100 fans to attend as a part of its official supporters group.

Other fan groups, Evain said, are considering flying out and in of Qatar for matches because they’ve concluded doing so could be cheaper, and easier, than staying in Qatar. Germany’s fan club has already said it’ll be commuting to games from Dubai. “I don’t think they realize how problematic their accommodation situation is,” Evain said. “The entire system to book accommodation is so unclear ticket-holders are reluctant to book.”

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