Qatar is paying fans £124 per game to clap and cheer on their soccer team during the World Cup, according to reports. The “cheerleaders” were recruited by Qatar’s leading sports academy and have all their expenses covered for the first two weeks of the tournament.
Young fans from underprivileged Arab countries have jumped on the chance to win money in Qatar at the World Cup. apparently they found out from friends working in Qatar that the chances of earning money over the next month were high.
People from countries like Lebanon are paid to cheer on the Qatari national team until the first week of December. Qatar, ranked 50th in the world, is supposed to be knocked out in the group stage.
Anyone with a valid passport and three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine was invited to participate in the program. It has been created by the Qatar Aspire Academy.
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One individual told the International Arab Affairs publication TRENDS it was ‘heaven’ to have the opportunity to cheer on a team during the World Cup. The publication claims to have seen documents verifying the role, including letters of invitation.
The young fan, who spoke on condition of anonymity, is quoted as saying: “You couldn’t ask for more. Qatar Airways flights from Beirut to Doha and back are paid for by the organizers, accommodation is paid for, food and local transport are taken care of and on top of this they would pay us $800 (£663.22), is this paradise or what?
Fans are paid £663.22 ($800) to take on the role, but are expected to leave when Qatar are knocked out, most likely in the group stage.
It comes amid speculation that Qatar was paying fans to line the streets ahead of the World Cup. Those suggestions were soon discredited when it became clear that the Indian expatriates were genuine supporters of the England team.
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But Qatar raised funds for fan groups from each nation hoping to be paid to promote the tournament. The Fan Leader Program was established by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, but its daily allowance was removed due to negative media attention.
A letter seen by the guardian read: “Due to recent developments in the media, we want to protect our visiting fans from misleading and misinformed statements about ‘fans getting paid for travel.’
“Accordingly, the daily allowance will unfortunately no longer be issued. The allowance was intended as a small increase from his own personal funds to assist him with refreshments during his stay.”
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