World Cup 2022
Less than 70 euros a day: Qatar cuts pocket money for invited fans
With a fan network, Qatar brings supporters from 59 countries to the World Cup for free. One day before the start, however, the fans will be deprived of financial means.
One day before the start of the World Cup, Qatar continues to get down to business. After the serving of alcohol around the arenas was banned on Friday, the organizing committee cut pocket money for fans flown in especially for the World Cup. As the “sports show” and the “Guardians” unanimously report that the participating fans were informed shortly before their arrival.
The organizing committee blamed the media coverage. “We want to protect the fans from the erroneous claim that they are ‘paid fans’ for the World Cup,” it said in an email sent on Tuesday pocket money to delete. “The pocket money was intended as support for one’s own wallet in order to buy food and drinks every day during the stay,” it continues. According to “Sportschau”, the so-called “fan leaders” should receive a loaded Visa card upon arrival, pocket money should be 70 euros per day. Supporters who would have stayed in Qatar for the full 29 days would have had around 2000 euros pocket money available – in addition to free accommodation, travel and tickets to games. According to the Mail, Qatar has always pointed out that the fans should have enough financial resources of their own even without pocket money.
Soccer World Cup: Qatar has invited fans from 59 countries
It was only announced about three weeks ago that Qatar had invited around 450 fans from 59 countries to the World Cup as part of the “Fan Leader Network”. In return for the trip, they were presented with a code of conduct which, among other things, suggested that the activities related to the World Cup and the host country should be viewed positively. Likewise, comments critical of Qatar should be reported to the Organizing Committee and then deleted. (You can read the code of conduct here)
Ronan Evain, chairman of the fan organization Football Supporters Europe, was not surprised at the change. “Who knew you couldn’t trust an authoritarian regime with an alarming record of workers’ rights? I think that’s what you can expect when you’re supposed to be getting the average Qatari minimum wage every four days – without actually to do something about it,” Evain told the Guardian. At the same time, Evain sees the changes shortly before the World Cup as a warning signal. “So close to the start of the World Cup we are entering dangerous territory – one where insurance no longer counts. This is extremely worrying,” Evain wrote on Twitter.
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DFB fan club does not support trips to Qatar
The “Fan Club National Team” of the German Football Association does not support the program. Martin Endemann from the European fan alliance Football Supporters Europe told the German press agency in early November: “The fact that Qatar is still buying fans shortly before the start of the tournament also indicates that enthusiasm among active national team fan groups in many countries is rather low. (…) These people should not be seen as representative fan representatives, but at most as volunteers for FIFA and the organizing committee.”
The organizing committee said on request: “All fans who Qatar As our guests visit, they do so voluntarily and free of charge.” The costs for flights, accommodation and meals are covered, but this is not to be regarded as “payment for services”. It is not an illegal action Pocket money was not specifically expressed by the OK.
Fifa boss Gianni Infantin also took a stand on Saturday. Recently, more and more videos had appeared on the Internet in which fake fans supposedly from India were partying on the streets of Doha in the jerseys of Germany, Argentina or England. This was reinforced by the fact that social media accounts such as “England Fans Qatar” or “Germany Fans Qatar” also appeared. The magazine “11 Friends” that, like the star belongs to Bertelsmann, on the other hand, raised the (not unjustified) question as to whether they could simply be fan clubs of the respective nations. “If someone looks like an Indian, isn’t he allowed to cheer for England or Spain? That’s racism,” Infantino accused the critics.