World Cup fans’ party cancelled after Qatar ‘imposes’ alcohol restrictions


A World Cup party has been canceled after Qatari authorities ‘imposed’ changes to restrict alcohol sales, organizers have said.

Fan charity Gol Cymru were looking to build on the success of their parties held either side of Wales’ World Cup opener against the United States with a second round of events for Friday’s game against Iran.

But they said they were told at the last minute of new conditions preventing the sale of alcohol before 12 p.m., which led them to cancel their pre-match event at the InterContinental Doha hotel in the West Bay district. from the city.

The Football Fans’ Association of Wales supporters’ embassy later noted that Friday was a holy day and that “no alcohol before noon” is permitted.

Wales’ Group B match against Iran kicks off at 1pm Qatar time, 10am UK time at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

The hotel was in discussion with the Qatari authorities overnight and unfortunately, as is the case with Qatar, a change has been imposed and we cannot serve alcohol until Friday noon

Leigh James

The sale of alcohol to fans at World Cup stadiums in Qatar was banned two days before the tournament kicked off, with the exception of corporate spectators.

The UK Foreign Office said it was an offense to drink alcohol or be intoxicated in public, with alcohol available in designated places, including hotels.

Gol Cymru fundraiser and organizer Leigh James told fans in an email: “The hotel had discussions with the Qatari authorities overnight and unfortunately, as is the case with Qatar, a change has been imposed and we can no longer serve alcohol until noon on Friday. .

“Therefore, we had to make the decision to cancel the pre-match event and offer you two options.”

These include attending a post-match party on Friday or a pre-match party on November 29 before the final Group B game with England.

Mr James added: “Once again, on behalf of the hotel, I apologize but I have learned that in Qatar you always have to expect the unexpected.”

He continued: “Please understand this is Qatar and a lot of things are totally out of my control, I get frustrated as the next person when they make last minute decisions.”

Paul Corkrey, of the Football Fans’ Association of Wales (FSA), said the tailgate party was a “perfect place” for people to gather ahead of the 1-1 draw with the United States on Monday and that fans were “pretty sane” to travel to The Game.

The issue of tickets going missing has been widely reported and experienced first hand by our England Fans’ Embassy team.

Ashley Brown

He said it was “disappointing” to hear the changes imposed at Friday’s pre-match event, telling the PA news agency: “There’s one thing about it – they’re consistent, they constantly change the rules.

“There’s not much we can do, really, just say we’re really disappointed.

“A lot of fans are on their own, in ones or twos, and they go to these things for the company and to be with their friends or to meet new people.”

Mr Corkrey said the fans are “having a great time everywhere else”, adding from the Qatari authorities: “It’s such a shame because the facilities, the place, the weather, the fact that you can see three or four games a day, is positive.

“But they still do negative things from time to time.”

Elsewhere, England fans have urged Fifa to prevent ticketing problems from happening again, which meant some games were missed in the Three Lions’ 6-2 opener win over Iran.

Some fans were frantically updating the official ticketing mobile app on their phones in a bid to load their QR code minutes before kick-off.

Ashley Brown, of the FSA Supporters’ Embassy, ​​said: “The issue of tickets going missing has been widely reported and experienced first hand by the team at the England Supporters’ Embassy.

“On this occasion, one of our team had two tickets on his phone, he entered the stadium, and the other simply disappeared, requiring a trip to the ticket office.

“By then the apps and technology were out the window as a guy with a bunch of paper tickets would just write the seat numbers on them and hand them out.

“This problem is well documented and Fifa just needs to deal with it. During the England-Iran game, some fans had to queue for more than two hours to sort this out.

“Fans want to know that Fifa takes this seriously by communicating widely what they are doing to address the issue and what spectators should do if it happens to them.

“Now is the time to tackle this problem.

“We advise all supporters to arrive early in case of future problems.”

A Fifa spokesperson said: “The Fifa service provider is working to resolve the issue some spectators are experiencing with the Fifa ticketing app as soon as possible, with alternative solutions provided in between- times that allow all ticket holders access to the stadium.”

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