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Monday, September 20, 2021

Qatar advances to handball semis; some fans left out in the cold

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Fans after Qatar clinches tonight's win over Germany
Fans after Qatar clinched tonight’s win over Germany

Qatar’s handball team has defeated Germany 26-24 to advance to the semifinals of the 24th Men’s Handball World Championship.

The win is a historic one for the national team, which has never advanced this far. The players were cheered on by more than 10,000 people inside a packed Lusail Multipurpose Hall tonight.

https://twitter.com/NawafAlThani/status/560485946001342465

https://twitter.com/2015Handball/status/560484774087634945/

But the mood was less celebratory outside the hall, where at least hundreds of paid ticket-holders milled about in confusion after security guards barred entry to the match.

Several people who weren’t allowed into the game told Doha News they had arrived between 5:30pm and 6:30pm, heeding the time recommended on their tickets. The Qatar/Germany match began around 7pm.

But many were told by security personnel that the hall was already full. According to one fan, the match had been opened up to the public for free during the early afternoon, and a guard told her that her seats were taken by those who had lined up around 2pm.

Ongoing problem

Over the past two weeks, those who have attended the handball games in Doha have lauded organizers for how smoothly the matches proceeded.

But it appears in this instance, the desire to ensure a full stadium during a critical match trumped the need to ensure paid ticket-holders were granted access to their seats, fans said.

Emir Cup 2013
Emir Cup 2013

This is not the first time organizers of sporting events in Qatar have come under fire for poor organization.

In 2013, ticket-holders lamented being locked out of the Emir Cup finals, more than an hour before the match started.

Also that year, fans at the Spain vs. Uruguay match complained about slow security checks impeding their ability to get into the game.

Similar complaints ensued during the 2011 Asian Football Confederation Final, and the Emir Cup last year.

“Unfortunately it’s sad – we love to attend events organized in Qatar but this is a problem they need to solve,” said Kareem Sharawi, who has attended several handball matches and only ran into trouble for the first time with his seats tonight.

As crowds dissipated after tonight’s Qatar-Germany match, some fans said they were finally able to get into the hall to watch the upcoming Denmark vs. Spain match, which starts at 9pm.

Fans are also expected to turn out in droves tonight for the Jason Derulo concert, which will take place after the final match of the evening.

Here’s a roundup of Twitter reaction from disappointed fans:

Were you at the match tonight? Thoughts?

53 COMMENTS

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Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago

LOL! Why am I not surprised at all? Seems like the selling tickets for seats that they will later distribute freely will be a Qatar tradition when it comes to hosting sporting events.

christian
christian
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Strange, I got in without any trouble at around 6:30. Nice crowd, well done Qatar!

terracotta
terracotta
6 years ago

kudos to Qatar.
Hard luck to the people who were not able to attend the first match.
They can enjoy the second one

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  terracotta

Only if they don’t pay. If they do pay they’ll be standing outside wondering what happened.

TheGreatOne
TheGreatOne
6 years ago

Haha..Some things will never change! I can’t wait for this World Cup to officially kickoff!

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago

They are forcing conscription’s graduates to attend or else they will be “legally” questioned. As a Qatari, I find this to be disgusting.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

are you serious??

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Yes.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

why?

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Apparently to fill up the stadium with Qataris.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

Wow….I hope this is just one of those rumors…lol.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

No, and some of the big quasi-governmental agencies sent out notices ‘encouraging’ their people to attend and reminding them that all seats would be free; some even laid on buses.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

I got one of these. It has been pushed for the last few days.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

North Korea style? I hope this is just a rumour as Saleem said 🙂

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

It is not a rumor, I know people who were asked to show up.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

What happens after you are “legally” questioned? Is there any type of punishment if you don’t attend?

Gareth Walters
Gareth Walters
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

In Britain for National Sporting Events there are free tickets given to our Armed forces and it is considered a great honour to be able to attend, to support your country and represent the forces at the same time.
They are not forced however because there is such high demand for tickets.
These guys are conscripts and are having National Pride instilled in them, i am sure a lot of them would rather be sitting in a nice comfortable stadium that running up a sand dune with a full Army pack on.

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  Gareth Walters

I see, although they are not serving on now (no camping is going now, it goes from September-December and March-May).

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

Whoever made the decision to allow ticketed seats to be given away isn’t fit to run any organised event. Just ridiculous.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

They’re not “running” it. They’re just letting it happen.

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

They have a LONG way to go before they are fit enough to organize a football match.
In the napoli V juve some people kept coming to sit in my friends seat when he went to go get food…i think i had about 5 different people in 5 minutes..for the final guy the stewards came and apparently he was in the wrong part of the stadium for his seat. why dont people just find the seat that they bought and sit in it!

2nd game was munich game…our seat was taken and when we asked the stewards they said “its nothing to do with him, go sit down anywhere” but there were no seats apart from the front row but apparently we wernt allowed to sit there..so kept getting told off by stewards till they gave up because they couldnt show us 3 seats together (there were 3 of us)

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

In WC2022 resident expats will be given free entry to the matches in order to mimic a football crowd. I have spoken.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

They’ll have to because only an idiot would pay to fly here with tickets that won’t get you in.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  The Reporter

Wait so you’re saying that Qatar will make matches free and people will attend because they’re getting a good deal and that means they’re not really a football crowd, just mimicking?
I’d say it’s an issue when people are forced to go, not when people choose to go of their own free will because they got a good deal on a ticket.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

I think the “issue” is that people pay for something and don’t get what they paid for.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

I can’t wait for my free WC2022 tickets

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

My thoughts exactly.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Nothing changes….couldn’t run a lemonade stand with a six year old…cant wait for the debacle that will be the WC…

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

All that glistens…

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

Foreign-born players who now hold Qatari citizenship make up more than two thirds of the country’s 16-man squad. Qatar has won?

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago

It was a great win by the purple “South Balkan” team to reach the semis!

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)

What’s your definition of a Qatari?

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
6 years ago

That’s a very tough question.
1) a person born from Qatari father and Qatari mother is a Qatari
2) a person born from Qatari father and non- Qatari mother is a Qatari
3) a player or a painter or a Islamic scholar who dedicated himself for qatar is a qatari

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)

What about the many Qataris who came from other countries 3 or 4 generations ago?
What about someone who’s mother is Qatari and father is not?
Or someone who was born and raised here, is 2nd or 3rd generation, speaks Qatari, and loves this country?

I’m just saying that at the end of the day what causes discrimination within communities is when people feel they are more entitled or “purer” than others.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

the vaguely important people…

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

They probably didn’t run fast enough, jump high enough or any number of other athletic inclined abilities, not well enough. Although the present crop of “new” Qataris don’t either.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

What about an athlete who was hired recently and given a passport? Qatari?

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

These are temporary Qataris.

Michkey
Michkey
6 years ago

That, my friend, is the right question!

zoeval
zoeval
6 years ago

Just when I was thinking what a good crowd they’ve finally got – turns out it’s still the same Potemkin Village after all.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

This is absolutely weird. I come from a relatively poor country with way less resources than Qatar yet we rarely have organization issues like these whether for local or international events. I just cannot find an explanation to the repeated organization failures in Qatar.

On a side note, good to see Qatar in the semifinals. They have done a great job so far. Mabrook 🙂

Wanderer
Wanderer
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine
Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Wanderer

Shouldn’t there be some law as to max foreign or recently nationalized players on a national team? I can understand it on club level but when you’re playing for a country it’s ridiculous, just becomes a matter of who has the biggest budget

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Athletic teams here are full of mercenaries.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Wanderer

Yes I know and I disagree with this strategy of naturalizing players for few months, but let’s celebrate first and then we will discuss that 😛 🙂

Paul
Paul
6 years ago

Two things to remember:
1. Qatar has a good team
2. There is no need to buy a ticket: free entrance to all sport events

Green Hornet
Green Hornet
6 years ago

Typical!

The Observer
The Observer
6 years ago

Planning to get a ticket for the finals but after reading this I’m not bothered. Thanks Doha News.

Elkhorn
Elkhorn
6 years ago

To those who’ve paid for the tickets but was barred from entering, can they report it in the Ministry of Economy and Commerce? That’s a vagrant violation of the Consumer Protection law.

Mike
Mike
6 years ago

Time to boycott everything to do with planned events in Doha. I’ve got 2 tickets for the woman’s tennis for sale if anyone wants them. They can probably hear the crowds inside while being denied access.

Gareth Walters
Gareth Walters
6 years ago

People have traveled from all over the world to attend this event. they have booked their tickets in advance and paid for their flight. it is an absolute disgrace that this has been allowed to happen in an international event such as this. all those who bought tickets and could not get in because of appalling organisational skills should be fully compensated.
it is only a matter of time before a foreign news agency gets hold of a story like this and there will be another *&#@ storm around how unsuitable Qatar is to be holding these kind of events. They really let themselves down with things like this.
Sort it out!!!

greylag
greylag
6 years ago

Next time just forget about buying tickets.

Carl
Carl
6 years ago

Appearently ticketholders for the semifinals from the nations no longer in the run have had their tickets anulled giving them tickets for their nations remaining matcheces for the lower positions instead – WITHOUT ASKING THEM.

This is not a matter of incompetence – its a matter of deliberarte discrimination by a government from a nation that only got the match because corrupt nations that cannot even put together a team from their own nationals get to vote in the International Handball Organization.

Why does the king allow foreigners to be insulted this way in his nations name?

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