A super football fan has hit out at Qatar for its handling of the FIFA World Cup, calling it a “disaster” and a “circus”.
Ivana Knoll, dubbed the ‘hottest World Cup fan’ after causing an internet sensation as she supported Croatia in the 2018 showpiece in Russia and Brazil four years earlier, has surrendered on social media to express his anger.
Among the issues raised was access to a Hayya card, which is a necessary document for visitors to attend the event.
“This is a disaster,” she wrote on her Instagram Story – a platform where she has 584,000 followers – according to reports.
“I’m sorry for everyone who can’t go to the World Cup because of the worst organization in history.
“My entourage did not receive a Hayya card even after 20 days, even though they have all the tickets for the final.
“It’s clear why so many people didn’t even want to participate in this circus.”
Knoll was on hand to watch Croatia, runners-up in the tournament four years ago, and Morocco play in a scoreless draw at Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday.
She posted several photos, some of which may be frowned upon by local authorities given the advice to overseas fans, as she soaked up the atmosphere inside and outside the pitch.
The tournament was shrouded in controversy, including over unfinished accommodation for visiting fans and a late backflip over the sale of alcohol inside stadiums.
Today it emerged that Qatari police have been ordered not to treat women as criminals if they report a rape or sexual assault.
Officers were also told that pregnant women should “face no charges”.
The instructions were part of a bizarre memo from FIFA officials.
In Qatar, women are second-class citizens who can be blamed or imprisoned if they are assaulted.
Pregnant women seeking medical services may be suspected if they are unmarried, under Qatar’s strict morality laws.
Last year, a World Cup official was sentenced to 100 lashes and seven years in prison for ‘extramarital sex’, which is illegal in the Gulf state, after reporting being there assaulted.
Grocery chain Rewe also suspended advertising with the German Football Association after the world’s football governing body cracked down on players wearing “OneLove” armbands at the tournament.
“We stand for diversity – and football is also diversity. We live this position and we stand for it,” said Rewe Group chief executive Lionel Souque.
“FIFA’s outrageous attitude is absolutely unacceptable.”
FIFA, world football’s governing body, has threatened to issue yellow cards to any player wearing the multicolored armband at the World Cup.
Several football associations had said their team captains would wear the armband in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
But the associations of Germany, England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark said on Monday they would abandon those plans following FIFA’s warning.
One of the event’s main organizers was also forced to insist that the country was ‘seized by football fever’, despite many home fans leaving early in the hosts’ defeat to hosts ‘Ecuador.
Empty seats became increasingly visible in the locals at Al Bayt Stadium from half-time onwards, and in the final 15 minutes the pitch was virtually deserted save for the exuberant Ecuadorians.
However, Nasser Al Khater, the general manager of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, insisted the country was delighted to host the controversial final in 2010.
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