After years of anticipation – and controversy – since Qatar was awarded the World Cup, the match lastly obtained underway on Sunday in Doha.
Even earlier than a ball was kicked, some sore spots arose. Regardless of years of planning, simply two days earlier than the match kicked off, Qatar introduced a ban of alcoholic beer on the eight stadiums internet hosting the World Cup in a shock volte-face.
Now, followers touring to the nation is perhaps questioning the place they stand with the remainder of the host nation’s native legal guidelines and customs.
The sale and consumption of alcohol has been a extremely contentious concern since Qatar was first introduced because the World Cup host 12 years in the past.
The Muslim nation is taken into account to be very conservative and tightly regulates alcohol gross sales and consumption.
In Qatar, it’s unlawful to be seen drunk in public and people who violate this might face authorized penalties. In accordance with UK authorities recommendation on touring to Qatar, consuming in a public place might “lead to a jail sentence of as much as six months and/or a superb as much as 3,000 Qatar Rial ($824).”
In September, Qatar had stated it could allow ticketed followers to purchase alcoholic beer at World Cup soccer matches beginning three hours earlier than kick-off and for one hour after the ultimate whistle, however not through the match.
Then two days earlier than the primary match, soccer’s world governing physique FIFA confirmed that no alcohol could be offered on the eight stadiums which is able to host the match’s 64 matches.
Alcohol will solely be served in designated fan parks and different licensed venues round Doha, FIFA stated in an announcement.
“There shall be […] over 200 locations the place you should purchase alcohol in Qatar and over 10 fan zones, the place over 100,000 folks can concurrently drink alcohol,” stated FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Saturday.
“I believe personally, if for 3 hours a day you can’t drink a beer, you’ll survive.
“Particularly as a result of really the identical guidelines apply in France or in Spain or in Portugal or in Scotland, the place no beer is allowed in stadiums now,” he added.
Nonetheless, some followers will be capable to eat alcohol at matches – at a value. Supporters can buy a Match Hospitality bundle, with costs starting from $950 to $4,950 per match, for various companies and together with alcohol.
A spokeswoman for Match Hospitality informed CNN Sport that their packages will not be impacted by FIFA’s coverage change.
Nonetheless, alcohol is offered at licensed lodge eating places and bars, and expatriates residing in Qatar can acquire alcohol on a allow system, in response to UK authorities recommendation.
Intercourse exterior of marriage is prohibited in Qatar, and intimacy in public between women and men may end up in arrest.
Intercourse between males can be unlawful and punishable by as much as three years in jail within the nation, and a report from Human Rights Watch, printed final month, documented instances as not too long ago as September of Qatari safety forces arbitrarily arresting LGBT folks and subjecting them to “ill-treatment in detention.”
A Qatar authorities official not too long ago informed CNN in an announcement that the World Cup host was an inclusive nation.
“Everyone seems to be welcome in Qatar,” the assertion learn, including: “Our monitor file has proven that we’ve got warmly welcomed all folks no matter background.”
And to make sure discrimination of any sort didn’t occur, measures have been being applied equivalent to human rights coaching periods with private and non-private safety forces, and the enacting of authorized provisions for the safety of everybody, in response to FIFA.
A press release despatched to CNN on behalf of the Supreme Committee for Supply & Legacy (SC) which, since its formation in 2011, has been liable for overseeing the infrastructure tasks and planning for the World Cup, stated it was dedicated to “an inclusive and discriminatory-free” World Cup, pointing to the truth that the nation had, it stated, hosted a whole bunch of worldwide and regional sporting occasions since being awarded the World Cup in 2010.
Even so within the run-up to the match there have been combined messages coming from Qatar with a World Cup ambassador and former soccer participant Khalid Salman saying earlier this month that homosexuality was “injury within the thoughts,” in an interview with German broadcaster ZDF.
Winter in Qatar is a relative time period with temperatures nonetheless more likely to be round 30 levels Celsius (round 86 levels Fahrenheit).
Regardless of the warmth, all guests to Qatar ought to present “respect for native tradition by avoiding excessively revealing clothes in public,” in response to the nation’s tourism authority, including that it’s really useful that each women and men ought to cowl their knees and shoulders.
In accordance with UK authorities recommendation, women and men “are suggested to not put on shorts or sleeveless tops, when going to authorities buildings, well being care services or malls,” and failure to take action means you can be requested to go away or be denied entry.
Nonetheless, the US Embassy in Qatar notes that apparel requirements can differ in response to which neighborhood or facility you might be in. CNN’s groups in Doha have noticed loads of vacationers carrying shorts.
Utilizing unlawful medication in Qatar may end up in heavy fines and lengthy jail sentences, in response to the US State Division – this consists of possession of marijuana/THC, CBD merchandise and vape merchandise.
However there are additionally restrictions on some pharmaceuticals, like stimulants, nervousness medicine and powerful ache relievers, and guests are suggested to test the listing of banned substances earlier than they journey.
There’s a sliding scale of freedom on this planet, in response to Freedom Home, the impartial watchdog that will get funding from the US authorities.
Qatar, as an illustration, scores a paltry 25 on Freedom Home’s 0-100 scale that mixes entry to political rights and civil liberties. But it surely’s not the lowest-scoring nation participating within the World Cup; Saudi Arabia scores a 7 and Iran scores a 14.
Neither is the US probably the most free. Canada will get a 98 and Uruguay and Denmark get a 97, whereas the US scores an 83.
There isn’t a authorized assure of press freedom or freedom of expression in Qatar, the US Embassy in Qatar notes.
In accordance with the US State Division, anybody convicted of “defaming, desecrating, or committing blasphemy” in opposition to Islam, Christianity, or Judaism might face a jail sentence of as much as seven years, and public worship by non-Islamic faiths and atheism are unlawful.
In the meantime, makes an attempt to transform somebody of one other faith and even “share your religion” may end up in imprisonment or deportation.
Tensions typically run excessive at worldwide soccer matches, and it’s not unusual for scuffles to erupt between followers, each in and outdoors of stadiums, from rival international locations – however swearing and making impolite gestures are thought of obscene acts in Qatar.