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World Cup news as Qatar police responded and mixed up rules on beer

Now that the World Cup turns one, I am going to reveal my experiences from the tournament in Qatar so far. There have been some notable matches so far, like Saudi Arabia and Japan’s stunning victories over Argentina and Germany respectively. Now, I will recall seven things that I noticed from my time in Doha.

Qatar police respond

Much has been said about how strict the Qatari police are, and to a degree, they are right. When Express Sport has asked the majority to speak, it hasn’t been in the mood.

However, a couple of officers, whose names I will not reveal for fear they will face backlash, have broken their rank to give me bits of information.

One policeman, when asked about his tournament experiences, was adamant. They said it had been a success, that it was always going to be, and they don’t listen to ‘outside’ criticism.

Another, more surly law enforcement officer made sure he wasn’t filming before speaking. When I asked him if the lack of alcohol made it better for everyone, he insisted that he did and that alcohol shouldn’t be a topic of conversation when football is so good.

It’s interesting to hear their side of the story, especially since it seems like they’ve been prevented from giving it.

exciting football

At every World Cup, there have been huge dizzying ups and downs.

This year’s tournament, even if it’s strange to have it in winter, is no different.

There have been some exciting games. No one thought Saudi Arabia would surprise Argentina, especially with Lionel Messi’s team going 36 games unbeaten beforehand, but then the world was stunned.

It was also a similar story with the game from Germany and Japan. The 2014 champions are now in danger of going out, especially if they lose to Spain later today.

As for England, their 6-2 win over Iran was heartwarming. Their goalless draw with the USA, not so much.

Mixed Beer Rules

Most nights, I haven’t even had a chance to try and get some beer. However, that’s not to say he couldn’t get some…

The media center in Doha, which is extraordinarily modern, serves cans of Budweiser and Stella inside.

With Budweiser, you’re allowed the entire can. Perhaps the fact that it is one of the sponsors of the World Cup is the reason why that is the case.

However, with Stella, you are only allowed half. They don’t give you the rest of the can to consume.

It’s weird, but it is what it is. No pints are served, something that certainly wouldn’t happen in your average pub in the UK.

Sweet, United Fans

Soccer is destined to be a sport that unites everyone.

Unfortunately, the tribalism of English football at home means that’s not always the case. Far from it, in fact.

However, with no alcohol at the forefront of things here, it’s been refreshing to see all the supporters come together and thrive. Even on my train trip to France vs Denmark, the fans of both teams sang songs at the same time without coming to blows.

Of course we still have England vs Wales to come. Two countries that certainly don’t shy away from a pint or 10.

But, so far, there have been good vibes everywhere.

WiFi in 2022 is still a tall order

Back in England, WiFi isn’t always the best. It’s good enough for those who need to apply for the actual newspaper but, as a digital journalist, it can be infuriating when it comes to getting our work into our system.

Here, it has been hit or miss.

Journalists present at England’s goalless draw with the United States on Friday were particularly frustrated with the connection. One of my colleagues, sitting next to me, couldn’t get it to work at all.

Qatar has banned people from connecting to personal hotspots, insisting that its service is adequate.

But it’s patchy and even seems to be affecting players in England, amid reports that they’re struggling with WiFi in the country.

Qatar state of the art

One thing I have to emphasize, as my last talking point, is how fantastic the facilities and stadiums in Qatar have been, apart from the WiFi.

Whether it’s the 974 Stadium, also known as the “shipping container stadium” or the Al Bayt Stadium on the outskirts of the city, they are certainly prepared.

Take the media zones, for example. There is more than enough space for everyone, with no one being too cramped. Something they could learn from at Old Trafford, in particular.

The staff are always hard at work around us making sure everything is clean. They operate with a smile on their face, like they love the World Cup experience as much as I do.

What a week it has been so far.



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