A total fiasco. Two months before the start of the next World Cup in Qatar, a test match was organized on September 9, in order to find out the possible flaws in the system planned for the World Cup which will take place in November and December. And the least we can say is that the test was not conclusive, according to information from Doha News and the Dutch daily Het Laatste News out on Sunday.
While the Lusail stadium, which will host the World Cup final on December 18, has a total capacity of 80,000, 77,575 fans attended a game between Saudi club Al Hilal and Egypt’s Zamalek. If Al Hilal finally won, it’s more what happened off the field that will be remembered.
Even before the start of the match, hundreds of buses had been chartered to take spectators to the stadium. Problem, the organizers obviously underestimated the number of people who were going to take this route to reach the enclosure. Consequently, some families had to walk for 45 minutes to reach the stadium in a temperature of 35°C.
A father of three, Mohammed told Doha News: “I had to carry my young son because he was tired from walking and dehydrated. There was no water at all, the volunteers kept saying ‘I don’t know’ every time I asked how much time we had left. »
No more water or air conditioning
A shortage of water which is a task, and which continued in the stands, since no drinking water was no longer available from halftime of the match. Worse, the air conditioning, which Qatar is promoting to cool the stadiums in hot weather, did not work optimally.
Overall, fans would complain about the lack of volunteers for informants. “A lot of them were clueless, but I don’t think it was their fault, you know. I would say it’s just a lack of training, like they were rushed before they were ready or had enough knowledge of the stadium,” a fan told Doha News.
And to conclude this fiasco, a 2.5 km queue formed at the end of the match to reach the nearest metro station located just 400m from the Lusail stadium. “It’s a mess. I don’t want to go to the World Cup anymore. Not in these conditions, at least”, attested an Egyptian supporter to the Het Laatste Nieuws. The organizers defended themselves by ensuring that this match was precisely the opportunity to resolve the problems raised during this test. they now have 60 days left to find solutions, at the risk of not improving the image of a world cup already tarnished by numerous controversies. No small feat.