THE positives in Doha, Qatar, are seldom highlighted in the media: Do you know that the eight stadiums are located within a 35-mile radius of this downtown city that the 2022 World Cup is perhaps the most compact in football history.
During the group stage, that makes it possible to attend four games a day!
But to avoid congestion and make more tickets available to more people, the organisers have limited fans and the media to two games a day, with a four-hour window between kickoffs.
Isn’t this an organisational wonder worth mentioning to watch four of the best teams in the world on the same day?
And to make it easier, with special free public transportation, to World Cup visitors, serving all eight stadiums.
For the record, the top attendance of the tournament so far, according to FIFA, was the game at Lusail Stadium on 24 November, with 88,103 there to see Brazil beat Serbia 2-0. And at the FIFA Football Festival at Bidda Park showed the highest accumulative attendance, with a total of 98,000 fans throughout the day.
The multi-national and multi-cultured festival of football screens every FIFA World Cup game on giant screens, as well as providing free entertainment between games with some of the most famous names from music scenes around the world – and has been enjoyed by fans from every corner of the globe.
Hats off to the Qatar organisers.
And for the sake of football’s proverbial “fair play”, I think the positives in Doha, Qatar, must be properly highlighted in the global media.
* Suresh Nair is an award-winning sports journalist who is also a qualified international coach and international referee instructor