The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has ignited creativity among football fans and volunteers, either to showcase their nation’s heritage, make new friends, or simply express their excitement and enthusiasm for the sport.
Every match since the start of the tournament on November 20 at Al Bayt Stadium witnessed a large number of supporters cheering for their teams by wearing colourful dresses or traditional costumes and painting their faces with flags and football-inspired designs.
It is learnt that such a trend fascinated many people who want to join the frenzy in the metro, stadiums, in some of the most visited sites in Doha such as Souq Waqif, Katara – the Cultural Village, Msheireb Downtown Doha or while heading to watch the matches at the venues or fan zones.
Japanese national Tomi shows his support for his team by wearing a traditional dress and greets incoming fans by singing and playing his guitar while taking pictures and videos with them at the stadium’s entrance.
“I am really enjoying this World Cup, people say Japanese anime is great and Japanese people have kindness... and (they) pick the garbage so they like Japanese,” he said.
Tomi is just one of the many friendly supporters who not only attracts and entertains the crowd but also puts a spotlight on this country’s heritage.
This was also underlined by the increasing demand and popularity of wearing traditional Arab dress such as thobe, ghutra, and igal – designed with the flags of participating nations and sold at various outlets in the city.
Javier, a Spanish supporter, said that he finds these kinds of attire unique, attractive, and impressive in a tournament like the World Cup, compared to the usual jerseys and sports apparel.
“Such ingenuity helps promote a nation or a region’s culture, which sparks curiosity among visitors and those who watch it on social media pages, so it may eventually entice many people to explore the destination,” he added.
This was echoed by a Polish supporter, Arthur, saying these fashion trends also presented creative ways to promote the tournament and for fans to familiarise themselves with the culture of the host nation, as well as the region.
“I hope I get to see more of these in the coming days, weeks until December 18, the finals, and hopefully even in the next World Cup because it gives us plenty of artistic ideas,” he pointed out.
Volunteers, especially those who guide metro passengers at various stations, found a way to do their jobs in an entertaining way. Apart from ‘metro man’ Abubakr Abbass’ “Metro? This way. Metro? This way,” several other volunteers have been welcoming fans of different teams by dancing and singing their usual phrases of chants like as ‘Ole Ola’ or mentioning their nationality and adding the word “This Way” such “Espanol, This Way”.
Japanese national Tomi, wearing a traditional dress, welcomes fans at the stadium's entrance. PICTURES: Joey Aguilar
A Japan team supporter in a traditional costume before a match.
A Mexican supporter joins the football frenzy in Qatar.
Metro volunteers entertain passengers with their dances and songs.
Mexicans in traditional dresses and hats while others wear ghutra.