Lone spectator in Qatar’s Stars League match likely to raise concerns
Only one person was caught on camera attending a recent match in Qatar’s Stars League
Amid international outcry over FIFA’s choice of Qatar as the venue of the 2022 World Cup for its scorching summer heat and its reported mistreatment of foreign workers, the small Gulf state is likely to face another challenge, and that is attendance.
A recent match in Qatar’s Stars League between al-Gharaffa and al-Kharaitiyat sports clubs was reportedly attended only by one spectator!
The football enthusiast was caught on camera siting alone and surrounded by hundreds of empty seats.
A video clip of the empty stadium circulated on the internet was the subject of mocking among Arab internet users.
Some sarcastically claimed that in Qatar the number of players in the field is always bigger than the attendance. Others suggested that the lone spectator should’ve been invited to partake in the game.
Qatar’s population is estimated at about 1.8 million, with the vast majority being foreigners. During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa about 3.2 million of seats (92 percent of the total available) were filled.
A Foreign Policy article in July 2013 suggested that “either a lot of people are going to have to go to Qatar to match that figure, or the Qataris are each going to have to attend a lot of matches.”