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World Cup: there are no “fake supporters” in Qatar, protest organizers and fans

These are photos and videos that had raised some questions. We see supporters made up in the colors of Brazil, Argentina or France who wander through the streets of Doha, chanting songs, but who all seem to come from South Asia. It did not take more for some to question the authenticity of his fans, a British media going so far as to write that they had been paid by the organizers to set the mood.

“Fans from all corners of the globe – many of whom call Qatar their home – have recently added to the local atmosphere by organizing supporter marches and parades across the country and hosting the various national teams at their hotels. Many journalists and social media commentators have cast doubts on whether they are real supporters. We reject these claims outright, which are as disappointing as they are unsurprising,” the tournament’s Supreme Organizing Committee said in a statement on Wednesday, referring to criticism of the country that intensified as the coup approached. dispatch, Sunday.

Among the approximately 200 Indians (for about twenty English only) who came to welcome the English selection in front of their hotel in Al Wakrah, south of Doha, on Tuesday evening, the discussions focused mainly on comments on social networks and articles by press calling them “false supporters”. “It’s degrading and very frustrating,” protested Ameen Sharak, an Indian living in Doha and a fan of England.

“I would like to say loud and clear that none of us have been paid”

According to Sajidh, 29, Indians in Qatar are “outraged” at the thought that they were paid to take part in a parade on the Doha waterfront, which brought together a few thousand people dressed mainly in jerseys. Argentina and Brazil, Friday. “This is pure and simple misinformation and I would like to say loud and clear that none of us have been paid in any way,” Sajidh said. “We are die-hard England fans. Since childhood, my favorite player has been David Beckham. We have Wayne Rooney fans, Michael Owen fans…”

“It hurt us a lot,” adds Anas, who follows the Premier League “every weekend”. “People just don’t realize the importance of football in Kerala”, the state at the southern tip of India where most of the fans outside the Three Lions hotel are from. During the last World Cup, a 25-meter effigy of striker Harry Kane was even erected in a town in the province!

“We come from India but they didn’t qualify, so people choose the team they want to support,” Anas finished. Every morning since it opened in mid-October, dozens of people have lined up outside the main match ticket outlet in the central West Bay district. Among them are many migrants from South Asia, with Qatar’s population numbering 750,000 Indians and 400,000 Bangladeshis (out of 2.9 million inhabitants).

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