The excitement over the FIFA World Cup 2022 extended beyond the stadiums and fan zones as football fans created a festive atmosphere at shopping centres, metro stations, and in some open spaces in Doha, a few hours before the start of the first match yesterday.
Colourfully-clad supporters of participating teams, especially Mexicans and Iranians, took their loud chants and cheers to a major mall in Qatar – to the delight of many shoppers and employees.
Nationals of different countries, both residents and visitors, found themselves cheering for other teams as they take videos and photos with other fans.
Alfredo from Mexico City, who was with a group of Mexicans at the mall, told Gulf Times that the 2022 edition of the World Cup is amazing, saying “the vibe is great (in Qatar)”.
“I want to go to the Corniche, and I also like museums, as well as the library which I saw on Youtube which is very big, I want to go there as well. I plan to go to 10 different matches, I'm very excited about that,” he said, expressing optimism that the Mexican football team will reach the quarterfinals.
A similar ecstatic atmosphere can also be seen outside the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, as well as in a number of metro stations such as Msheireb, Corniche, West Bay Qatar Energy and Al Bidda yesterday, bringing together supporters of Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Qatar, among others.
A huge crowd gathered at the FIFA Fan Festival to watch the opening ceremony and the match between Qatar and Ecuador in a live screening.