Doha (from our correspondent) – As if one were not even in the real world. But the day before the start of the World Cup in football, there are no fans anywhere. Welcome to the Qatari metropolis of Doha. Is it the calm before the storm and the supporters will arrive as is usual at this event?
Quite possibly yes. However, there was no sign of that on Saturday. Virtually only media representatives can be seen in the metro, which is controlled by a machine. Here and there, a worker from poorer Asian countries, who outnumber natives in Qatar, mixes in among them.
Thousands of volunteers solve the last shortcomings, assemble advertising banners. Or they sweep the sidewalks. Which is funny because it’s clean on earth. No one had yet to make a mess. At first glance, it is simply obvious that Qatar has spent an incredible amount – 200 billion dollars (4.8 trillion crowns) in preparation for the world championship. A small Arab country, which has an area the size of the Central Bohemia region, wants to shine. Pull yourself over the world that can organize the biggest sporting event on the planet.
For now, however, there is “peace on the footpath” in Doha, which is not usual for an event of this format shortly before its start. Fans arrive at the European and world championships several days in advance. They drink, have fun, joke with each other. Nothing like that in Doha yet there is no vision.
Supporters may be deterred by the extreme heat (it was 35 degrees in Doha at noon on Saturday) and the major restrictions on alcohol consumption. During the championship, the beer will be available only at the Fan Festival, additionally for 12 pounds (about 330 crowns). It will not be available at the stadiums. Perhaps, due to the sweltering heat, the fans are staying in hotels and apartments and waiting for the championship to start. Will the ghost town eventually become a football-living metropolis?