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Crowds packed into Qatar’s World Cup stadium for first match of 2022 tournament


Sep-12 23:16 first published at 23:16 PM

Soccer Football – Lusail Super Cup – Al Hilal v Zamalek – September 9, 2022 – Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar Before the game, a general view of the stadium. The game is the first to be played at the stadium, which will host the World Cup final in 2022. Ibraheem Al Omari/Reuters Register for now for free. Summary Fans crammed into the showpiece Long exit lines are expected at Lusail Stadium. More than 77,000 people make up Qatar’s largest crowd ever. Water is scarce both inside and outside the stadium. There are two months until the World Cup begins. DOHA, Sept 12 (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has issued a statement saying that it has “Stop! Can’t you see that the metro station is completely full? Stop! “a frazzled supervisor yelled as green-vested marshals linked arms to keep thousands of fans from streaming out of the stadium that will host the World Cup final in Qatar. It was after midnight on Friday, and nearly 78,000 people had been filing out of the stadium for hours following a near-capacity match that tested the small Gulf state’s readiness for the tournament, which begins on Nov. 20. “Allow us to pass! We have a family “One man, carrying a sweaty toddler, cried out. “We require water. Is there any water? “From behind the line, a woman yelled. Register for now for free. There weren’t any. By halftime, the stadium stands were dry, and there was no water outside, where the late summer temperature was 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) but felt much hotter due to the humidity. The Lusail Super Cup match on Friday was the first time such a large crowd had gathered at the new Lusail stadium. It is the largest of Qatar’s eight World Cup stadiums, with 80,000 seats, and a gold-clad showpiece designed to host the final match on December 18. Qatar is the first Middle Eastern country and the world’s smallest country to host the World Cup. While it has spent billions of dollars on infrastructure, it has never organized an event on this scale, which will be held in or around a single city, which is unusual for a World Cup. For the first 12 days of the tournament, four matches will be played in and around Doha. According to FIFA, 2.45 million tickets out of a possible 3 million have already been sold, and an unprecedented 1.2 million people, equal to nearly half of Qatar’s population, are expected to attend. According to organizers, 77,575 people went through the turnstiles on Friday, making it the largest crowd in Qatar history. Families with young children arrived at the stadium ahead of a performance by Egyptian singer Amr Diab. Hundreds of Saudi fans wore the blue jersey of Al Hilal, the Saudi team that won on penalties after a 1-1 tie with Egypt’s Zamalek. Hundreds of South Asian and African workers were also present in a section of the stadium, wearing identical white, blue, or red t-shirts, as migrants were frequently bused in to fill empty arenas. They all left at halftime to board buses away. When asked about the teething issues, a spokesperson for the organisers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, told Reuters that the game was designed to identify operational issues and lessons for a “seamless” World Cup. “Every team involved in the event’s organization gained invaluable experience that they will carry forward into this year’s tournament,” the spokesperson said in a statement. ‘THIS IS SUCH A HASSLE.’ One fan leaving the stadium swore, elbowed a marshal in the neck, and broke through the cordon, followed by several others attempting to reach the metro. The station is 400 meters from the stadium, but fans formed a 2.5-kilometer line that snaked back and forth across an empty lot. Officials stated that this was done to prevent a stampede. “This is such a mess,” said Eslam, an Egyptian fan who has lived in Doha since 2004, who was holding the arm of a bleary-eyed and exhausted friend in line. “I no longer wish to attend the World Cup. No way, not with this.” According to Reuters, some suppliers, caterers, security personnel, and medical personnel had difficulty accessing the stadium. “Some ambulances were even driving around, trying to figure out where they were supposed to be. We were repeatedly given incorrect directions, and the parking passes we had were for lots that did not exist “said the supplier, who asked that their name not be published due to the sensitivity of the situation. The stadium cooling system, described as cutting-edge by Qatar, struggled to keep the stands cool. When the tournament begins, humidity and temperatures will be lower, but there will be other challenges. Unlike on Friday, ticket holders will be able to consume alcohol outside of stadiums before and after each game. The game on Friday was also a litmus test for stadium security. Guards in dark clothing and baseball caps were stationed in the aisles near the pitch, monitoring fans who were enthusiastic but well-behaved. Guards patrolled the perimeter in groups of five men or women, each carrying a hook-shaped baton dangling from their belt. Some carried zip-tie handcuffs in their fists. Preparations extend well beyond the stadiums. To avoid traffic jams on its only land border with Saudi Arabia, organizers are leveling a section of desert where fans will park their cars and board buses for the 100-kilometer (62-mile) journey to Doha. Authorities will reduce the number of cars on the roads by closing schools for the tournament, prohibiting vehicles from certain areas of the city, and encouraging businesses to have employees work from home. An old airport has been reopened to handle additional flights, and new passport control stands are being installed to triple the number of passengers that Qatar can handle. Qatar Airways is rescheduling 70% of its flights to make more landing slots available during the tournament. Register for now for free. Andrew Mills contributed reporting and writing, and Dominic Evans and Andrew Cawthorne edited the piece. Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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