Encouraged by Qatar World Cup, fans gather to practice chants to support Arab teams

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Few hundreds of Arabic-speaking fans gathered at a sports hall ahead of the World Cup in Doha on Tuesday for a quick training session on how to chant in unity in different dialects of the Arabic language.

Soccer fans from Middle Eastern countries, Tunisia, Morocco, Qatar, Lebanon and other Arabic-speaking nations who live and work in Qatar participated in a training session organized by enthusiasts speaking different dialects.

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“We mixed different types (of slogans) together and changed them to make it easier to sync in different dialects,” spokesperson of Arab Fans Initiative, Mohammed al-Tammimi, said.

For some fans, chanting in different dialects was challenging but they still felt at home.

“We feel ourselves at home when we support the teams from our country. It is almost the same as we have at home,” a soccer fan from Morocco Mohammed El Ajjani said.

There will be 32 teams competing in Qatar, from former winners Brazil, Germany, Argentina, France and Spain to Japan, Senegal, Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia, with 64 matches in total.

Organizers have told diplomats and police from qualified countries they intended to show flexibility for fans who commit relatively minor infringements, Reuters reported last month.

Organizers intend to relax Qatar’s strict laws limiting the public sale of alcohol, and will allow beer to be served near stadiums a few hours before matches kick off.

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