No wins, few fans… Qatar prove it’s time for every side to earn World Cup place

“Yesterday marked the midway point of the Qatar World Cup — 32 matches played, 32 remaining. Today marked the point when Qatar’s participation ended. They were already mathematically eliminated, but their 2-0 loss to the Netherlands at the Al Bayt Stadium — essentially in the middle of nowhere, 50km north of Doha — completed a hat-trick of defeats. … There has been an intriguing flow of supporters throughout the games. Qatar’s matches have started with many empty seats, which generally fill up throughout the first half. There were a couple of sections of the stands tonight that were initially entirely empty, before suddenly becoming full 20 minutes in. …”

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