Fans from across the globe are enjoying the sights and sounds of the FIFA Arab Cup, which is currently being hosted in Qatar.
The Qatar Fan Leader Network (QFLN), launched earlier this year by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and Qatar Football Association, recently hosted 44 of its members from 28 countries. The fans enjoyed an action-packed visit to Qatar, including the opening game of the FIFA Arab Cup between Qatar and Bahrain at Al Bayt Stadium, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said in a press release Monday.
The QFLN has an open dialogue with fans, with its membership totaling 410 Fan Leaders from 51 countries. It represents fan bases from different regions, cultures and backgrounds who all help to spread key messages about Qatar to their networks. Members also take part in research projects to help shape the fan experience during the FIFA World Cup, which will kick off on 21 November next year.
Qatar2022.qa recently spoke to fan leaders from four Arab nations – Palestine, Syria, Oman and Mauritania – to find out what football means to them.
Name: Mohammed Abdelhadi
Occupation: Civil engineer
“You can never underestimate how important support from the stands is for a football
team. When we were 1-0 down against Comoros in our Arab Cup qualifying match, we knew that only our chants would lift the team, so that's exactly what we did! Football gives me another way to connect to my beloved Palestine, in the same way that the land does, or our culture. As someone who also loves to play the game, I love watching exciting football – from Palestine and also teams like Qatar, who always entertain the fans.”
Name: Mais Hassan Ghusn
Occupation: Works in the health sector
“The emotions that football evokes in us don’t end with the final whistle. As fans, we carry the ecstasy and
Mais Hassan Ghusn
enthusiasm from the game with us long after we leave the stands. The rush you get from chanting your country’s name stays with you. It’s the type of joy that means so much more to people that need football to escape distress; to experience much-needed relief. The type of euphoria we experience from football is unmatched, and that’s why I am so excited to be leading Syrian fans during the FIFA Arab Cup. This tournament has brought together Arabs from all across the region to celebrate this beautiful game by cheering on their countries.”
Name: Faisal Al Balushi
Occupation: Works in government sector
“The power of football lies in its ability to bring people together, regardless of where they come from, what language they speak
Faisal Al Balushi
or what they believe in. It creates a sense of harmony and unity that is unmatched. The beautiful game can also smash deep lying misconceptions, changing the way people see a culture or a group of people. So, when we are in the stands, we're not only supporting our team over their opponents, we're also celebrating the beauty of this sport. I want the world to see how exciting Omani football is, and where better to do that than Qatar's amazing World Cup stadiums.”
Name: Sayed Al Barbouchi
Occupation: Investment Supervisor in real estate
“Football taught me that life is competitive – and that in order to win, you need to play as a
Sayed Al Barbouchi
team and give back to get
ahead. I support the Mauritanian team because the players showcase where I’m from to the rest of the world. And in the same way, the players are ambassadors, like the fans that cheer for them from the stands. Mauritanians support the team no matter where they are in the world.”