Thousands of football fans gathered at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Al Sadd last night to witness the latest high-profile football friendly between Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) and Inter, which ended with the French team on top 1-0.
The only goal of the evening was scored right before halftime by Jean-Kevin Augustin, an 18-year-old who has only played for Qatar-owned PSG a handful of times before last night.
Though tickets to the match sold out earlier this week, the final tally of attendees was 11,628. The stadium’s official capacity is 12,946, according to organizers.
However, the mood was a festive one, with bundled-up fans sporting PSG and Inter merchandise to enjoy the friendly amid dropping temperatures.
Speaking to Doha News, Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon, Qatar Stars League’ executive director of communications, said:
“All in all, the match experience was great. We improved on way-finding, we did our best to improve on parking, we improved on food and beverage and restaurants available, we improved (the) sound system…and more importantly, everybody was safe.”
Night to remember
And unlike in previous years, there were few complaints about ticket-holders getting into the stadium.
Three large central security tents with metal detectors and x-ray machines could be observed processing the crowd. Meanwhile, vendors walked around, selling karak, snacks and club merchandise.
According to Gulf Times, the match was played at a slow pace, as are most friendlies, to keep players from getting any injuries. But added that the evening was still one to remember:
“From the time the players walked onto the pitch (through an arch of fireworks and confetti), the fans were constantly enjoying themselves…
Just before the start of the match, the song Right Here, Right Now by Fatboy Slim was being blasted over the stadium speakers. And this was definitely a ‘I was there’ moment for the spectators.”
Did you watch the match? Thoughts?
Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the capacity of the stadium is 12,946, not 15,000 fans.