I am not a big football fan, and I watched a live football match only once in my life, in Senayan Stadium (one of the biggest in the world that can hold a maximum of 125,000 people) more than 20 years ago. As I mentioned in my previous blog, Qatar with a mission to put the country on the map and bid for the 2022 World Cup, this time they are having an International Football match at the Khalifa Sport Stadium which is probably the biggest stadium in the Middle East and which holds 50,000 people.
They chose a friendly game between Brazil and England. Why should they choose Brazil? Well to my humble view, it’s because the team is currently rank No. 1 in the world, and part of Qatar’s pride is to invite the best team in the world to Qatar, even though I bet there are not many Brazilian living and working in Qatar, but still a lot of local Brazilian football fans.
They chose England team to play against Brazil, which is currently No. 8 in the world football ranking. To me this would be a one sided match as England team is not supposed to be as good as the Brazilian team, but they are here anyway, and I think there are a lot of reasons:
- A lot of Englishman working in the Middle East in various industries and as per my experience on several visits to England, they are a very big and rather fanatic football enthusiasts.
- The English Premier League is big in the Middle East. To subscribe to the channel that has privileges to air live of this league is more expensive than normal family channel.
Keith, who is English and a true supporter for the England football team is keen to watch this match. I went along as this was my first experience to watch an international football match, and I bet not everyone can have the chance to watch this kind of match which is why the football freaks from the neighbouring countries also cam to Doha for this event.
The atmosphere around the stadium was really great. A bit of Qatar cultural propaganda was shown as well as information about the participating countries and the best scene for me is to see the fans who behaved very silly, just for a bit of a laugh.