Football fever arrives in Qatar ahead of 2022 World Cup

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Qatari supporters march in Doha on Friday.

DOHA — Throngs of football supporters from Qatar and overseas filled Doha’s largest market on Friday ahead of the start of the 2022 World Cup, which kicks off Sunday.

Lined with stores selling spices and traditional clothing, Souq Waqif is one of Qatar’s most popular tourist attractions.

On Friday, many visitors were clad in the jerseys of participating countries including Qatar, Brazil and Morocco, and some were carrying their national flags.

Among the fans gathered in the market square were more than 100 supporters of Cameroon, which did not play in the last two World Cups.

The Cameroon fans danced to the sound of vuvuzela horns. “For us, this is the festival we have been waiting eight years for,” supporter Thinda Yannick Tano said.

“I’ve never seen such excitement,” said market worker Ibrahim Hussain. “We won’t be bored for a while.”

Qatar faces Ecuador in the opening match, which kicks off at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday.