FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar accused of using fake paid Indian fans for parade, organisers reject ‘disappointing’ claims

Nov 17, 2022 07:58 PM IST

FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar has been accused of using fake paid Indian fans for a parade. The organisers rejected such claims.

The FIFA World Cup 2022 is scheduled to begin on November 20 and Qatar have found themselves embroiled in another controversy. The hosts have been accused of using paid 'fake' fans to stage a parade and also to welcome the England team into their base. This adds to the alleged controversy in which the country was chosen as hosts, and also the human rights issues with migrant workers for the tournament.

Argentina fans dance with drums at a popular tourist area in Souq Waqif, ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 soccer tournament in Doha.(REUTERS)
Argentina fans dance with drums at a popular tourist area in Souq Waqif, ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 soccer tournament in Doha.(REUTERS)

In the parade through the streets of Doha, all participating countries were represented but their fans didn't seem like they belonged to those regions. Meanwhile, Spanish news outlet El added fire to the situation, claiming that the fans were fake. It was also alleged that some fans were seen representing multiple World Cup teams.

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Here is the video of the alleged fake paid Indian fans during the FIFA World Cup parade:

Another viral video accusing Qatar of using fake paid Indian fans:

Also, during the parade to welcome England, around 20 English fans were present with approximately Indian fans. There were accusations that those were fake fans too, but some of them have come forward to inform that they are from Kerala. The crowd also included fans from Bangladesh, two young women from China and a man from Thailand.

A video accusing England fans of being fake paid Indian fans:

Meanwhile, the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee (SC) has denied the accusations. The SC claimed that the allegations were 'disappointing and unsurprising.' The SC stated, "With four days to go until the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 kicks off, anticipation and excitement is building in Qatar as we prepare to welcome the world."

"Fans from all over the world -- many of whom have made Qatar their home -- have contributed to the local atmosphere recently, organising fan walks and parades throughout the country, and welcoming the various national teams at their hotels.

"Numerous journalists and commentators on social media have questioned whether these are 'real' fans. We thoroughly reject these assertions, which are both disappointing and unsurprising."

Meanwhile, one fan also told the Times newspaper, "None of us are getting paid. We are diehard England fans. My favourite player was David Beckham, but now it is [Bukayo] Saka. If someone offered to pay us to support England we would turn them down. We are genuine supporters. Many of us grew up watching Beckham and Michael Owen. Our love is to this team."

The tournament opener is set to be held on November 20 between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium, in Al Khor.

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