World Cup fans boiling inside 'unbearable' Qatar accommodation
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Football fans flocking to Qatar for the World Cup have been left furious after spending hundreds of pounds a night to stay in tents made of “thick plastic” that make it “unbearable” to be inside. BBC Sport’s Nesta McGregor previewed a fan village just north of the Qatari capital of Doha, where 1,800 tents have been erected to house fans during the tournament. Several fans who spoke to Mr McGregor said they were extremely disappointed with the accommodation, describing the tents as “extremely hot” and the shower water as dirty and “brown”. One man, from France, was so infuriated by the state of accommodation that he decided to leave after just a few days in the camp despite having paid more than £3,000 to stay there.
Mr McGregor said: “Well over one million people are due in Qatar for the World Cup. This fan village just north of Doha will host some of them. It has 1800 tents, it cost £175 a night, it has just opened and the fans have started to arrive.”
Pedro and Fatima, from Mexico, told Mr McGregor that though they originally thought a campsite of sorts was a “really fun idea”, they were distinctly disappointed upon arriving.
Pedro said: “When we saw the pictures online of this, it seemed like a really fun idea. It seemed really cool, like a festival. But once we got here, our impressions were not precisely all positive.
“The tents are made of this really thick plastic, which obviously for the warm weather we are having right now, it makes it extremely hot.”
Fatima described being inside the tent as “unbearable”, adding that the water in the showers was “brown”.
She said she brushed her teeth with her water bottle because it was “cleaner” than what the Doha facilities had to offer.
Another fan, Emile, from France, said his time in the tent had not been a “good experience”, telling Mr McGregor that he was going to leave despite spending upwards of £3,000 on his accommodation.
He said: “For my reservation, it says it is a hotel, not a village. It is very, very expensive for me, and it is not good here.”
Fans struggling with the accommodation will also have to adhere to a “stadium code of conduct” prepared by FIFA during the matches to respect Qatar’s Islamic law.
Football fans must not be “visibly under the influence of alcohol” or be shirtless at World Cup stadiums in Qatar, according to organisers.
FIFA’s advice contains a section that runs ticket holders through a list of things they must not do unless “expressly authorised by the event organisers, where appropriate”.
They include: “Remove items of clothing or otherwise remain in a state of undress (including being shirtless) or reveal intimate body parts. For the avoidance of doubt, body tattoos and body paint do not constitute clothing.”
It adds: “Be visibly under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or any narcotic substance.”
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The guidance concludes: “These lists of obligatory and prohibited actions are not exhaustive.
“The event organisers reserve the right to make a final decision on whether any behaviour within the stadium is prohibited, which must be respected.”
The UK Foreign Office advises visitors to Qatar to “dress modestly” in public and warns it is an offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in public, with a prison sentence of up to six months or a fine among the punishments.
Alongside concerns over the practicality of the tournament, issues over migrant worker exploitation and mistreatment of the LGBTQ+ community have continued to plague the event.
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