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"A World Cup for everybody" - Qatar 2022 has proven to be a truly fan-centric global tournament

1:38 PM IST 18/12/22
Argentina fans Qatar World Cup 2022

The 2022 World Cup is all set for its grand culmination in Qatar. On 18 December, Argentina will take on France in the World Cup final at the Lusail Stadium in Doha. Whoever prevails in the finale, it will bring down the curtains on a tournament that has captured the hearts of fans all over the world.

It has truly been a fan-centric and inclusive tournament that has appealed to all types of fans from different backgrounds.

The stadiums have been fantastic and fan-friendly. Not to mention the fact that fans have been able to watch multiple matches during the same day, something unheard of in the past editions of the World Cup. Also, all the World Cup stadiums have been easily accessible for fans, with free transport available on Doha Metro.

Doha has been a melting pot of cultures for the past four weeks or so, as one would expect during a World Cup. However, there has been a key difference.

Qatar, thanks to its accessibility from all over the world, has played hosts to football fans from varied and diverse backgrounds.

A lot more Asian fans have experienced the World Cup atmosphere in Qatar, especially from nations such as Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. Not to mention the fact that even fans from non-traditional footballing markets like India and UAE have revelled in the atmosphere in Qatar.

Then there are the fans from African nations who have found Qatar to be a more accessible host. Fans from countries like Senegal, Cameroon and Ghana have enjoyed themselves ini Qatar, adding a colourful hue to the atmosphere iin Doha.

Not to mention the fact that the North African teams like Morocco and Tunisia have also enjoyed great fan following in Qatar. Especially Morocco, thanks to their sensational run to the World Cup semi-final. They have been supported in huge numbers at the stadiums and outside, with Morocco's games feeling like home matches even.

“We had 2.3 million Hayya applications, and 1.9 million were approved and the top countries were Saudi, India and USA,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in his final press conference before the final.

He added, “3.27 million spectators attended the first 62 games; the number was 3.03 for all games in 2018. The average attendance was 52,760, while 1.7 million attended the fan fest, 80,000 on average."

This is not to say traditional footballing powerhouses have not been supported well in Doha. Argentina fans have travelled to Qatar in droves and are expected to turn Doha into a mix of white and blue on December 18. England have also enjoyed large support from their fans.

Interestingly, Qatar World Cup has also allowed fans from countries like Bangladesh and India, whose teams haven't qualified for the World Cup, to support their favourite teams like Brazil, Argentina, England, France, Portugal and more.

It really has been a World Cup for every football fan, regardless of where they are from.