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Feb 012011

The massive queue resulted from three issues that organizers should have anticipated.

First, women were forced to enter through separate gate than the men.  This is a civil rights issue.  The only legitimate reason for requiring supporters to enter through different gates is if they support different teams.  Qatar simply must toss out their archaic beliefs.  “Separate but equal” is a non sequitur.  If Qatar doesn’t want to step into the 21st Century they could at least do us the courtesy of finding their way to the 20th. 

Second, reports indicate that the Qatari royal family attended the final match.  The royal family showed up approximately 30 minutes before kick-off and the gates were closed behind them.  There’s no way of telling whether this is the norm or if security was increased due to current world events.  Irregardless, it is unacceptable.  If Obama showed up a half hour early to the Super Bowl would orderly, paying fans be turned away?

Finally, there have been a lot of empty seats at this Asian Cup.  To look more presentable during the most-watched match, the organizers reportedly gave away hundreds of tickets.  At the very least this caused confusion when a paid ticket holder found their seat already occupied.  At most it caused paying fans to be turned away as their ticket had already been used. 

The Asia Cup organizers are said to be considering giving a refund to the “700” ticket holders turned away.  I’m not an expert at estimating crowd size, but there appear to be more than 700 people in those videos.  I’d also hope that they refund the airfare and extortionate hotel fees.  If paying fans are turned
away from any game, much less the final of the 2022 World Cup, Qatar will need a lot
more riot police.

Money can buy a lot of things.  To date, the only World Cup that came in under budget was the 1994 Cup hosted by the States.  The Qatari government, coming off its third year in a row operating on a budget surplus, certainly has the money and motivation to pull off their proposed expensive endeavor.  With more than a decade to go, it may be a little unfair to use this event to judge their future readiness.  Perhaps our attention should turn instead to the stalled construction on crumbling stadiums in Brazil. 

GFT Editor

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