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Fan group raises concerns as Wales supporters to be paid to go to Qatar to ‘cheer and shout’ at opening ceremony

04 Nov 2022 2 minute read
Qatar’s Lusail Stadium. Picture by Nick Potts / PA Wire

A fan group has raised concerns after 40 Wales fans were due to be paid by Qatar’s government to attend the opening ceremony to “cheer and shout” on behalf of their country.

Football Supporters Europe said that fans paid to attend as part of the Fan Leader Programme were in danger of becoming a “mouthpiece for the Supreme Committee” of Qatar.

40 England fans are also being paid by Qatar to attend the World Cup, according to the Times newspaper.

The newspaper said that requirements included not disparaging the hosts and to report any offensive, degrading or abusive comments from other fans.

Ronan Evain, the executive director of Football Supporters Europe, told the newspaper: “At best they’re volunteers for the World Cup and at worst they’re a mouthpiece for the Supreme Committee.

‘Wave your flags’

As part of the Fan Leader Programme the fans taking part will receive free flights and apartment accommodation, £60 a day in spending money and complimentary tickets after signing a “code of conduct” agreed with the World Cup organisers.

They will then sit in groups at the opening ceremony and sing at the appropriate times for the television cameras.

“In celebration of the fans around the world, over the period of five minutes, fan chants from each nation will be played and you will be expected to stand up, sing the song/chant, wave your flags and represent your country,” a document sent to the ‘Fan Leaders’ says.

“The camera will focus on each national fan group in turn. We will share with you the chant/song selected from your country to ensure you are familiar with it.

“Be ready in your shirt, flags and scarves to cheer and shout.”

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Arfon Jones
Arfon Jones
1 year ago

Terrible manipulation and stage management of the competition. The Qatari authorities will never win this hearts and minds no matter how much money they throw at it. There are millions of people around the world who now know what a cruel and backward place Qatar is.

1 year ago

“40 England fans are also being paid by Qatar to attend the World Cup, according to the Times newspaper”

Why do we feel the need to specifically mention England here? Are 40 Spain supporters doing it? What about Croatia supporters?

England aren’t important and aren’t relevant.

Knight G1
Knight G1
1 year ago

It seems that Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour have found the perfect way to go to the World Cup without being criticized. Just hope he doesn’t throw pens at the players.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 year ago
Reply to  Knight G1

Did the damp bring you out from under your rock?

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 year ago

Ugh! What a horrible, unedifying spectacle that will be! The travelling red wall have a fine reputation amongst the other nations.
These “fans” of negotiable morality being paraded to validate the activities of a disgusting regime will harm that.
If they are proud of taking their 30 pieces of silver, and since they are “representing” Cymru, I trust their names will be published?
What we do, we do in sunlight, not in shadows.

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