World Cup fan zone in Al Bidda overwhelmed on opening day


Supporters were turned away from the FIFA Fan Festival in Al Bidda amid chaotic scenes as hosts overcrowded for the World Cup opener Queue And Ecuador on Sunday.

Security closed off access to the fan festival as it reached capacity and spectators seeking to get closer to entry points were physically pushed back by security services.

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Although the venue has a capacity of 40,000 spectators, there were still long queues of people waiting to enter the park an hour before the start. Due to the weight of the crowd, spectators were being pushed against metal barriers and security guards looked troubled as they attempted to deal with the crowd.

Ecuador beat Qatar 2-0 to begin Group A play, with the stands at Al Bayt Stadium empty before the end of the match.

One england The fan told ESPN that the left side of his body was bruised as a result of pushing to get inside. The fans subsequently left the Fanzone after full-time, with megaphones still broadcasting messages asking supporters to move to other areas of Doha rather than stay close. Fan Park.

The nearest metro station Corniche was originally only accessible to fans exiting the station, but was closed to prevent overcrowding.

“It was dangerous,” a fan carrying a child aged about four, who was escorted out of the holding area, told Reuters. “They let a lot of people in. We never got to main field and I’m glad to go.”

It took the police about 45 minutes to clear the extra fans from the area.

Disappointed local fans, volunteers and the media were clearly upset with the police, but supporters from other countries appeared more understanding.

While there was chaos in the holding area, the view inside the park looked pleasant. Brazil Fans Andrea Nascimento and Rafael de Jesus appreciated the atmosphere.

Jesus said, “I think Qatar will be a great host. Now that the Games are starting, the atmosphere is building.” “This is my third World Cup after 2014 and 2018, and everything has been organized very well so far.”

Elsewhere, in the famous Souq Waqf market, fans from around the world gathered with many flags Saudi Arab And Iran on show plus a strong South American representation.

For 20 Qatari riyals, fans could watch three rounds of the pen on the back of a camel, which were ignored by TV broadcasters’ studios.

As it drew to a close, the narrow streets of the souq began to empty out, the air filled with the scent of spices and dried fruits for sale outside the various shops.

Fans congregated below the TV studios, craning their necks to try to watch the action on the big screen through the windows.

A group of fans sat inside the Majlis in an air-conditioned seating room, with their eyes glued to television screens.

Many tables for Shatranj, the older form of chess, lay empty on the other side of the room as football fever gripped the audience at the Majlis.

Information from Reuters was used in this story.

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