Qatar captures Brazil in Fans’ Zone




Fans trooped into the Maracana Stadium in Brazil in the colours of the teams they were supporting to lift the diadem. Argentine fans were huge in number. They are Brazilian neighbours and that was expected. But their soccer rivalry with Brazil is such that Brazilians rooted for Germany and reduced the domination of Argentina from the stands although the South Americans still had the upper hand. On the field, however, Germany dominated with ball possession and forays into the opponents goal area even as Argentina sat back and played on the counter which looked impressive and gave hope to their fans. It was an exciting final and the fans had a field day. Aside their regalia, the paintings, especially on their faces, attracted the television cameras. Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro was a spectacle to behold. Interestingly, Maracana was being played out at the fan zone in Katara area of Qatar. It was another World Cup spectacle. The fan zone was a $6m project the Supreme Committee built as a build-up to the 2022 World Cup. Fans trooped there to watch all World Cup matches. Fan zones give stadium effects. And the one in Katara was amazing. The large screen was a beautiful piece of art as it almost circled the sitting arrangement so that fans can have a good and wide view from many angles. The sound effects transported the fans to the match venues. And they shouted, sang and danced in support of their teams as if they were in Brazil. The World Cup fever was felt in Qatar. One would think Qatar 2022 is here. No, it is not yet here. Russia 2018 is next after which Qatar will mount the stage. However, the excitement of hosting the biggest football show in the world has never known any bounds since the Middle East country won the bid to host the World Cup. And they have swung into action, designing stadia and sensitising their people in a manner that makes one think that the games are here. They have made more news than the next hosts. First was the fear that the weather in Qatar would not be football friendly during summer. That is right. Sometimes, it is above 45 degrees Celsius. It will certainly be suicidal to play football in such a weather. Qatar never questioned this and responded with a cooling technology that can reduce the atmospheric temperature in the stadia to 20 degrees. They later added that the fan zones and some areas of the stadia where people may queue before entering the stadia will have such cooling systems. Their presentation to host a superb and compact World Cup where fans may watch two matches in a day impressed Fifa delegates. But they are facing another battle. The allegation now is that they compromised FIFA officials who voted for them. England is leading a campaign for another voting. Qatar has denied any wrong doing and they have continued their preparation for the 2022 World Cup. And as part of creating the football culture and also test-running the cooling technology for the 2022 World Cup, the fan zones are being put in place. More will be constructed before the 2018 World Cup. The Katara Fan Zone created for the just concluded World Cup attracted more than 15,000 fans.

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[eap_ad_1] “What you are seeing here is what we have in mind for the 2022 World Cup,” Tamim El Abed, the project manager of the Technical Department of The Supreme Committee for the 2022 World Cup said of the magnificent Fan Zone. “Fans come here with their families and they have been having fun watching the matches here,” Abed said on Saturday while Brazil and Holland battled in the third place match that Holland won 3-0. “I have never seen a thing like this,”a journalist from Ghana said of the sound and television effects while watching the final the following day. The Supreme Committee organised shows to entertain fans before the matches. They had their own opening and closing ceremonies although they hooked on to Brazil for these events too. The idea was to make fans feel stadium atmosphere. They did not disappoint. Groups came from Canada to entertain and the Samba cultural displays captured life in Brazil. The compere added vigour to it with his jokes and delivery. It was fun before, during and after matches. Toys were given out and different games organised. Katara Fan Zone appeared a symbolic World Cup carnival. The lighting effect was such that when a yellow card was flashed to a player the whole fan zone turned yellow. It was simply amazing. And the winners were the fans who thronged the arena to enjoy the games. The cooling technology was in place and effective although Abed explained that the ones that would be employed at the different stadia for the 2022 World Cup would be different. “It is a technology that considers humidity, wind and the degree while cooling the atmosphere. It is sophisticated and fans have scored us well throughout the World Cup,”Abed said. Qatar promised to organise the most compact World Cup of all time and Abed said that they were on the march to achieving that. “Fan experience in all our events will be considered. The 2022 World Cup will centre around families too so that people can come to the stadia and fan zones with their families.” Abed took time to explain the technology that will bring down the usually hot atmospheric temperature from about 40 degrees to about 20 during matches. There’s also the option of hosting the games during winter. Qatar says they are ready for whichever season FIFA chooses. Time is ticking and the world is waiting for FIFA and Qatar. (Vanguard)

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