First World Cup balance without real football fans

Richarlison, with a goal from Chalaca, made it 2-0 against Serbia. Something anyone would dream of doing at a World Cup.

Photo: EFE – Laurent GILLIERON

Finally, complaints about labor rights violations, discrimination against women, and members of the LGTBI community have been enacted. As well as restrictions on entering the country and the high costs of accommodation and airline tickets. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has started, but with far fewer visitors than the organizers expected.

All information about the Qatar World Cup in one place. You can find it here

In the case of the Europeans, who are always in the majority, the campaign to reject the policies of the Qatari government has had an impact in many countries. However, TV viewership levels in France, Denmark, Belgium and the United Kingdom exceeded those in previous editions. For Latin America, the stumbling block was the economic problem.

The vast majority of foreign fans who attended the World Cup are Americans, Japanese, Koreans, from Arab countries, and from the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa.

Qatar 2022 Audible: A spectator at the wheelAnd the A podcast in which we follow the course of the World Cup

The atmosphere in Doha, a city of just over two and a half million people, was more festive than football, because the tourists who attended were not the usual fans who go to stadiums in their countries, but rather the ones who could afford them. the trip.

This is even more noticeable inside the eight luxurious and comfortable stadiums in which the tournament is being held, because the cheers of the fans are not the ones usually heard at World Cup finals. In fact, none stood out. The English are no more than five thousand, which is a lot, but not even half of those who usually accompany the Three Lions, while the Argentines, who were the ones who bought the most tickets, almost went unnoticed, perhaps due to the poor start of Lionel Messi. and his associates.

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From a purely sporting point of view, several teams responded to favoring these teams, such as England, Spain, France and Brazil, which began by winning, impressing and in some cases scoring goals. Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal also celebrated, but sometimes left doubts.

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Spain humiliated Costa Rica 7-0, led by Colombian coach Luis Fernando Suarez, who did not create a single goal opportunity in his debut. And the Brazil national team, in front of a more complex opponent like Serbia, gave a lecture and after the first half of patience and fatigue, they scored two goals in the second half, but they deserved two more goals at least.

Disappointments, at least in their debut, were Argentina and Germany, surprised by Saudi Arabia and Japan, respectively, which in turn can be seen as a revelation. The two world champions advanced and looked superior, but they let it be up to them.

Precisely because of that weak start, they would have to risk their lives on their next outing. Albiceleste against Mexico, this Saturday, and the Teutonic team against none other than Luis Enrique’s Spain.

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The fall of the Germans quickly made us forget the symbolic protest of their players in the official pre-match photo, as they put their hands over their mouths to express their disapproval of FIFA’s protocol rules for the tournament, which they believe are discriminatory.

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Of particular note is the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, who at the age of 37 became the first footballer to score goals in the World Cup five times. He did it in Germany 2006, South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014, Russia 2018, and yesterday when he opened the account in the 3-2 win over Ghana.

In their first 16 matches, 41 goals were scored, at an average of 2.56 per game, for only four 0-0 records, a frequent result in the group stages.

On the other hand, the weather in Doha was not as hot as it was advertised. It’s even cold inside the stadiums because of the power of air conditioning. The sun sets around five in the afternoon local time, when the second match of the day is played, so the remaining duels are played at a very pleasant temperature of about 20°C.

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Generally positive is the first assessment of Qatar, a country unknown to the world that has opened its doors to other cultures, customs and ideas, to the extent that it has eased its restrictions and become more tolerant, something that will change. history forever.

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