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Of: Antonio Jose Riether

Before the World Cup, the negative reports are piling up. The organizers are said to have canceled the “pocket money” for the invited fans, and the DFB fan club also canceled its participation in the fan tournament.

Doha – The Soccer World Cup in Qatar could take some getting used to, especially for the local fans. Many rules for visitors, restricted alcohol serving and the human rights situation in the country dampen the euphoria. Now, just before the start of the tournament, it became known that allegedly bought fans would no longer receive “pocket money”. In addition, the DFB-Fan club against participation in the official fan tournament in Qatar due to unequal treatment of its female members.

Soccer World Cup 2022
Host: Qatar
Opening game: November 20th
Final: December 18, 2022
Defending champions: France

World Cup 2022: Qatar bought hundreds of fans – and apparently canceled their “pocket money”

In the weeks leading up to the start of the tournament, reports of bought-in fans made the rounds. the FIFA apparently responded to the hesitant interest of fans of major football nations and had spectators flown in to create atmosphere and positive television images. In return, accommodation and flights would be provided. According to the report, around 450 football fans from 59 countries are involved in the so-called “Fan Leader Network”.

World Cup 2022: Qatar wants to protect invited fans from “false claims”.

Now the ARD reportssports show however, that the World Cup organizing committee would no longer pay the invited football fans “pocket money”. Accordingly, an e-mail to the participants of the World Cup travel program states that the guests are thus protected from the “erroneous, misinformed claim that they are “paid fans”.

For this reason, “pocket money is unfortunately no longer provided”. Originally, a daily budget of 70 euros in the form of a credit card for the flown-in fans was provided. The organizing committee has not yet responded to reports of the cancellation of pocket money for program participants.

The members of the “Fan Club National Team” canceled participation in the fan tournament in Qatar. © Gladys Chai von der Laage/imago

World Cup 2022: Fan spokesman advises not to consider purchased trailers “as representative fan representatives”.

In Germany, the fan acquisition was not very popular, the “Fan Club National Team” of the German Football Association is not a supporter of the program. Nevertheless, 35,000 tickets for the World Cup games were sold to German fans by the end of October.

Martin Endemann, political scientist and spokesman for the European fan association Football Supporters Europe, had already told the dpa explained the artificial acquisition of the foreign fans. “The fact that Qatar is still buying fans shortly before the tournament starts also indicates that enthusiasm among active national team fan groups in many countries is rather low.” One should “not consider these people as representative fan representatives, but at most as volunteers for FIFA and the Organizing Committee,” he added.

World Cup 2022: DFB fan club cancels fan tournament in Qatar – mixed teams prohibited

But it’s not just the invited mood makers who resent the German fans on site. The official fan club of German national team canceled his participation in a fan tournament at short notice. The reason for this was the ban on mixed teams of men and women, as a spokesman for the fan club told the New Osnabrück newspaper confirmed.

“When we asked, we were told that only same-sex teams were allowed to compete. That’s why we decided against it,” said the fan club. The organizers initially “pointed out that they were reenacting the men’s World Cup,” explained Philipp Beitzel from the fan projects coordination office. “Then it was said that the tournament was also open to women, but the teams shouldn’t be mixed up.” That was clearly going too far for the German national team supporters. (ajr)

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