As a result of FIFA’s newest mess in Qatar, thousands of thirsty World Cup fans are forced to wait in line for TWO HOURS in the blistering 90F midday heat with no water fountains around.
The official FIFA Fan Festival kicked underway in Doha on Saturday afternoon. This forced thousands of supporters to stand in two-hour lines in the sweltering heat at the world cup opening in Qatar.
Before today’s World Cup opening between Qatar and Ecuador, fans flocked to the fan area in Al Bidda Park to get into the tournament mood.
The 40,000-person capacity park was supposed to open at 4 p.m. local time. But supporters started congregating earlier in the day to assure speedy access.
Huge queues had already started to develop around 3.30 p.m., but it took another hour for the doors to open. This prevented spectators from purchasing any water to stay hydrated in the 31-degree weather.
Around the park and by any of the neighboring metro stations, there are no water fountains.
Sportsmail was informed by a group of Mexican supporters who had been waiting outside for more than two hours to enter but had no water with them.
One supporter remarked, “We’ve been waiting here for two hours.” We didn’t have any water with us, therefore we can’t buy any. We have no idea when we will enter because security cannot provide any information. I’m hoping we can enter shortly.”
With hundreds of security personnel stationed near the entrance, there were two lines on either side of the fan park, one of which was finally closed off.
After over 45 minutes of waiting, a family from the United States had to give up their place. They were informed that their three young children would not be permitted inside.
The mother remarked, “They say it won’t be too nice for them in there, so we can’t go inside with the kids.” “We’ll probably go to one of the Souqs somewhere else.”
Supporters must endure a 15-minute walk to West Bay from the closest Metro station, Corniche. This point is marked as a “exit only,” due to the lack of water fountains along the route. At the beginning of the afternoon, fans from Mexico, Argentina, and Ecuador joined forces to sing in unison.
But when the doors did not open at 4 o’clock and no explanation for the delay was provided. People started to get angry as they had been waiting for a long time.