Fifa World Cup: Western media has been very harsh on Qatar, says English fan

According to him, the host country has done a superb job of organising the tournament



English football fans Ken (left) and Michael who are thrilled to be at the Fifa World Cup in Qatar.. Photo: Rituraj Borkakoty
English football fans Ken (left) and Michael who are thrilled to be at the Fifa World Cup in Qatar.. Photo: Rituraj Borkakoty

By Rituraj Borkakoty in Doha

Published: Mon 28 Nov 2022, 9:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 28 Nov 2022, 9:29 PM

Ken and Michael have remained the best of friends despite being fans of two rival clubs in English football. While Ken has been a lifelong supporter of Manchester United, Michael follows Arsenal, one of United’s greatest rivals in the Premier League, with an undying passion.

“We normally go to different parts of the stadium for the United-Arsenal games,” Ken told this reporter as we met on our way to the Al Janoub Stadium for the Cameroon-Serbia World Cup game on Monday.

“We did go for one (United-Arsenal) game together. But we are respectful of each other when it comes to winning and losing in Arsenal-United games,” Ken said.

The two football-loving English friends have travelled from London to watch the World Cup in Qatar.

Michael has been hugely impressed with the way Qatar has organised the World Cup.

“I think they had the fortune of having a blank page to start with. And they have done this very well,” he said.

“The stadium locations and the transport system, they have connected it very well. It has enabled people to travel to the stadiums very easily.

“I think this tournament has worked extremely well. It’s been a unique event actually, based in one major city as opposed to all of the other World Cups.”

Ken admits that the negativity in the western media on the Qatar World Cup is really baffling.

“I think they have been misguided and wrong. Some of them are very harsh,” he said.

“The organisation of the tournament from the host country has been superb. So I think, yes, it’s very harsh (from the western media). The friendliness of the hosts has been very nice.”

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The die-hard Manchester United supporter says meeting so many fans from different countries in Qatar has been a magical experience for him.

“It’s been also great to meet people from all over the world. My first game was Wales against Iran. It was lovely to see the Iranian fans who came in such large numbers,” he said.

“The other game I saw was Tunisia vs Australia. Again I was surprised by the number of fans. We are just having a very good time.

“I have also met some Australians and Costa Ricans. I was sitting with Costa Rican fans even though I was rooting for Japan to make it difficult for the Germans, our old rivals. It was a great experience.”


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