With less than a week to go before the start of the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar, Football Supporters Europe (FSE) has raised new questions about the organisation of the tournament.
The group cites incomplete training of stewards and insufficient accessibility of stadiums for large groups of fans as some of its concerns.
Spectator safety is a key issue in and around football stadiums, but the European supporters’ association regrets the lack of concrete information from Qatar on the subject.
The group says it does not know how the training of the stewards has gone and who the stewards are.
Another unknown, it says, is how the police will approach certain situations, for example if a fight breaks out or if someone uses pyrotechnics. “Will they prosecute them or expel them from the country?” wondered Ronan Evain, director general of Football Supporters Europe. “We do not have an answer to these simple questions.”
In addition, the association is concerned about accommodation and hotels for fans, as well as the accessibility of football stadiums.
The Doha metro will only serve four of the eight World Cup stadiums. To get to the other four, fans will need to take buses. “The transport of fans by bus to and from the stadium has never been tested,” says Evain.
“They say you can watch up to three games a day, but that’s not true. Sometimes it takes three hours to get from one stadium to another,” he added.