“Lionel Messi apart, arguably nobody has played a more prominent role in Argentina’s run to the World Cup final than a 62-year-old musician and a 30-year-old teacher, neither of whom is anywhere near Qatar. Between them, though, they created the song that has become the soundtrack to Argentina’s games and an earworm contracted by anyone who has been in Doha over the last month, or watched any of the tournament on television. …”
NY Times (Video)
1 – Qatar fans enjoy the pre match atmosphere prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar.
“1 Fake Qatar fans. It is one of the strangest minor stories of the strangest of World Cups. Shortly before the opening game, Qatar versus Ecuador, a group of men in uniform Qatari team-coloured T-shirts emerged en masse into a vacant area behind the goal and started making noise, doing choreographed dances and leaping about with apparently genuine excitement, something they kept up through the game irrespective of what was happening on the pitch. … 4 Fake Venice shopping centre. The motorised gondolas at the Villaggio Mall, a Qatari classic. This is a place that loves a bit of urban mimesis. Doha and its surrounds also have a fake Place Vendôme, a fake Champs-Élysées, even a fake Hackney in the guise of Stadium 974, with its billionaire-hipster aesthetic, the pretence of being built out of glossily reclaimed shipping containers. …”
4 – Fake Venice shopping centre.
“The World Cup in Qatar is set to end without migrant workers receiving access to an adequate remedy fund. This tournament has been controversial for several reasons, including Qatar’s criminalisation of homosexuality and male guardianship system, as well as alleged abuses of migrant workers. These workers make up around 90 per cent of Qatar’s population, and have embarked on an unprecedented construction programme in the country since 2010. There have been thousands of unexplained migrant worker deaths during that time. They have also faced risks such as non-payment of wages, illegal recruitment, and heat-related safety issues. …”