FIFA Fan Festival: Doha News talks to the jet-lagged fans

“The World Cup could be anywhere, and it would still be fantastic, but in this World Cup we get to see Qatar and the Middle East. That’s what makes it exciting.”

With more than 40,000 fans present, Myriam Fares and Maluma, the world-renowned Colombian artist, performed the official FIFA Fan Festival anthem “Tukoh Taka”, featuring Nicki Minaj, Maluma, and Fares, in a world-exclusive duet to open the Live Stage performances of the festival.

Their performances are the first of many that top international music acts and local artists will give over the course of the next four weeks.

FIFA Sound will also bring award-winning acts like Diplo, Kizz Daniel, Nora Fatehi, Trinidad Cardona, and Calvin Harris to the Live Stage.

The FIFA Fan Festival offers so much in three incredible fan zones, including match screenings, live hosts, and nonstop entertainment. This is in addition to diverse local and international culinary experiences.

The 64 FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 matches will be broadcast live on the mega-screens for 40,000 spectators to enjoy.

Doha News spoke to fans at the Fan Festival who came to support their countries from many miles away.

“Hi, I’m Jonathan, and I’m jet-lagged.”

Jonathan, rocking a Mexico-themed Ghutra, landed in Doha last Wednesday. However, he’s still struggling with jet lag. Rightfully so, his trip to the World Cup was hectic. “I was in Mexico City, then I fly to Madrid, then Madrid to Abu Dhabi, and then Abu Dhabi to Doha.”

However, the exhaustion is also partly because he’s been out exploring Doha the past few days, and did not want to feel like he’s missing out on any of the many events happening around town.

“Doha is really cool, and its amazing how all the cultures are mixing here.”

The stakes are high for the Mexican team, believes Jonathan, but so are the fan expectations. However, to him, the trophy is between Brazil and Argentina. “They have good teams.”

“We always have fun in the World Cup, we have to behave and we have a lot of party in our blood.”

“It’s less about winning and more about experiencing another great World Cup.”

Tom and Haemish came all the way from Australia to support their country in the World Cup. Although they only arrived two days ago, Tom proudly rocked a thobe and ghutra to the FIFA Fan Festival.

“I picked this up from the market for 100 Qatari riyals, got myself the full thobe outfit,” Tom told Doha News with pride. “It’s very comfortable, I love it.”

First glance at the way his ghutra was styled, you could tell some effort was put into it. “I’ve had a lot of the locals come up to me and actually showed me how to do it because the first time I had it all wrong.

He showed off his style, and said that it still looks good despite the wind.”

“The World Cup could be anywhere, and it would still be fantastic, but in this World Cup we get to see Qatar and the Middle East. That’s what makes it exciting.”

“This will be worth the long trip.”

Farhad and his mother stood out in the crowd, as he held her hand and guided her around. Both originally Iranian, they came to Doha all the way from Canada to support Iran.

“You don’t get this chance often, also, what if Iran does not qualify for the next World Cup?”

His 70-year-old mother was enjoying the live shows, and while too shy to talk, did express her excitement to see her team on the pitch. “We bought tickets to all the Iran games, and while we know that probably won’t be the case, we hope we’ll get to see them in the finals,” Farhad told Doha News.

However, to him, football is less about winning, and more about sportsmanship, and getting to see your team do their best, and cheering for your country.

“Actually, it doesn’t matter if you’re cheering for your team or the team of another country. This is a game, no one has a say in who you can support, or what you should like.”

“You do you.”

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