What World Cup fans can’t do in Qatar ?
The World Cup is both a sporting and international celebration, and alcohol plays an important role for many fans. This applies to stadiums and bars opening early or opening late to show matches
But hosting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is unlike anything that has ever happened. Just two days before the tournament’s first game in the Muslim country, officials were surprised when they announced that fans would not be allowed to drink beer at the country’s eight World Cup stadiums, which reversed a previously announced policy. . . .
Alcohol is tightly regulated in Qatar, where customs officials have ordered the confiscation of all drinks tourists try to bring into the country.
This is one of the many cultural clashes and potential legal issues fans can face in Qatar, especially if they are arriving from a more open society. Here’s a quick guide :
This world cup will be dark
If you want to see just how important Qatar’s reforms are, consider FIFA’s success in getting Brazil to change its official rules allowing the sale of alcohol in stadiums ahead of the 2014 World Cup. . Gymnastics.
In 2012, FIFA Secretary-General Jérôme Barca said: “Wine is part of the World Cup, so we accept it. It may sound a little arrogant, but we are not negotiating.” period. \”
But that was the way it was then. In Qatar, regular fans will not drink at matches. Only spectators in the luxury stadiums have easy access to alcohol. Outside of stadiums, fans can still drink at dedicated World Cup venues or at specially licensed restaurants, bars and hotels across the country
Generally, public consumption of alcohol is illegal in Qatar and is a crime that can carry up to six months in prison and fines of $800 or more, according to the Library of Congress. Anyone who smuggles moonshine into Israel could face up to three years in prison, the agency said.
Fans face religious restrictions
Islam is the official religion of Qatar, and anyone found to have converted to another religion or criticizes Islam “could be subject to criminal prosecution,” the US State Department said in a statement. Qatar World Cup visitor information page
Nor is it safe to assume that you can practice your faith openly. “Qatar allows non-Muslim religious practices in certain areas, such as the Doha religious complex, but not all religions are treated equally,” said the US agency.
In a video on Qatar law, the U.S. State Department said in addition to restrictions on imports of alcohol and pornography, “travelers cannot bring pork products into Qatar.”
Public speaking is also restricted
Articles deemed critical of the Qatari government could lead to arrests. This rule applies to both spoken language and social media.
And while there have been many battles in previous World Cups, with competing crowds yelling at each other and even singing obscene songs, an outright confrontation in Qatar could cause major problems. there is.
“For example, chatting or insulting others in public could result in arrest,” the State Department’s video warning said
Sexuality and other social issues
“Homosexuality is considered a crime in Qatar,” the State Department said
According to NPR’s Becky Sullivan in a summary of the controversial country, “advocates say LGBTQ people in Qatar face conversion treatment, harassment by authorities and detention.”
Such reports have fueled outrage and authorities will be closely watched for their treatment of LGBTQ fans and their symbols.
The US Library of Congress, citing Qatari law, said tourists visiting Qatar could also face severe penalties for “immoral behavior and extramarital sexual relations”
Charges range from fines or six months in prison for those who engage in “immoral” acts or gestures in public, to seven years in prison for those who engage in extramarital sex. According to the Library of Congress, public indecency is also punishable by up to three years in prison
According to the State Department, pregnant fans traveling to Qatar for the World Cup should be prepared to show their marriage certificates if they need prenatal care.
The fan should stop even if it gets hot
Qatar’s oppressive heat has forced the winter tournament into November and December, but fans who find it warm there should limit the amount of skin they show
The State Department said the dress code in many public places “requires covering the shoulders, chest, abdomen and knees for both men and women, and leggings must be covered with long shirts or dresses.”
As with alcohol, fashion standards often change depending on the colonial nature of a community or region.