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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

UPDATE: Lebanon, Qatar football match to be played with an audience

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UPDATE

The sports and youth ministry has announced that fans will indeed be able to watch Sunday’s football match.

The Daily Star reports:

A source within the Lebanese sports and youth ministry stressed Thursday that the initial decision to bar fans from attending was not an indictment of Lebanon’s supporters but merely a precaution due to the Qatari government’s concern for its nationals.

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Lebanon and Qatar’s football teams will play without an audience during Sunday’s 2014 World Cup qualifying match after the government barred fans from attending due to security fears, Lebanese media is reporting.

Some 20,000 people have already bought tickets to the match and will be refunded.

The Daily Star reports that a source in the Lebanese sports ministry said the decision was made after a request from the Qatari government.

“There’s no decision to ban the fans generally, but I am sure the security forces are aware of the situation and preferred that the match take place without fans.”

“I think civil peace is more important than a football match. And we have to respect that, no matter how sad and disappointed we are,” the source said.

Earlier this month, Qatar warned its citizens not to travel to Lebanon for the time being due to “the unstable security situation” in the country and its possible consequences.

Days after, clashes erupted in the capital city of Beirut, killing two people and wounding a dozen others.

Credit: Photo courtesy of the Lebanese National Football Team’s Facebook page.

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