Saudi Arabia inspires the Arab world

In Doha, Saudi fans parade round and round through the Souq Waqif, the old market in the heart of the capital. “Where’s Messi?” they want to know. “Madness, simply madness,” says one of the men, still a little incredulous, who parade through the alleyway wrapped in national flags on the evening after the game. Like so many others celebrating a big upset of the tournament here, he’s out of breath and quite exhausted.

At the mass events, exuberant fans from the Kingdom mix well-known Fanfest folklore with traditional dance elements from their homeland. In the capital, Riyadh, the streets are spontaneously converted into a World Cup mile. Videos from the Saudi living room show men jumping through the room as if out of their mind after the 2-1.

Only the official Saudi news agency does not want to be infected by the overwhelming enthusiasm and reports soberly: “The Saudi and Arab fans expressed their great pride and joy after the Saudi national soccer team played as part of the FIFA World Cup, which is currently being held in Qatar contested with 32 teams, had achieved a historic victory over the star-studded Argentina team.”

She had previously stated that the King, at the suggestion of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, has declared this Wednesday a day off. Turki al-Sheikh, an adviser to the royal court and head of the entertainment authority, announced on Twitter on the day of the game that entry to major theme parks and entertainment centers in Riyadh would be free.

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