Not far from Doha, in one of Qatar’s fan villages for the 2022 World Cup, malfunctions prevent fans from using the ephemeral rooms installed in the containers. After BFMTV and RMC’s argument, the Supreme Committee responded.
Not everything is going as planned in Qatar’s “fan villages”. These temporary housing complexes serve some of the 350,000 people who are to be hosted daily in Doha during the 2022 World Cup. But the logistical challenge, which the host country has been preparing for more than ten years, is experiencing serious failures. BFMTV went to one of these places, fifteen minutes from the city center of the capital. 6,500 prefabricated container-like rooms have been installed, but many are not ready.
In the lanes many fans complain. While the competition has already started well, the workers are still setting up the rooms. Was Qatar ready to handle this influx of fans? Yvan, a French supporter I met, paid the price. For 200 euros a night he didn’t expect such a welcome. “It was dirty everywhere, with construction dust, even in the beds. The photos were good, on the website. And when you arrive, it’s something else,” he testifies, dumbfounded.
Two other French fans, who had arrived a few hours earlier, are already thinking of leaving the place. “There was no water. The electricity and the air conditioning don’t work,” one of them complains, before pointing out the deplorable state of his room’s bathroom, with ground water and out of order shower.
A problem of “neglect”
Reporting on these issues is chilling. As BFMTV is filming the containers still being set up, a man approaches. He introduces himself as site manager. “Do you have permission to film?” he asks before removing the journalists to look at the images recorded by the camera and attempt intimidation. “Can you erase this image? (…) Don’t make trouble for the country. It can take on enormous proportions, you have no idea. The situation is very tense and you are going to have a bad day. And I don’t want you to be having a bad day “.
The Supreme World Cup Committee, in response to RMC Sport, admits “negligence” and malfunctions in the deployment of these fan villages: “We are aware that some fans have experienced delays when checking-in in the fan village and this due to the negligence of the owners and of the operators. Part of these structures, delivered and managed by various private entities, did not correspond to the standards required and expected by the supporters”.
Within hours of the shooting, nearly 200 people were moved for relocation. “Although these sites are run by private and independent bodies, correcting any problems found remains the Supreme Committee’s top priority, the organizers assure. Affected fans are being offered full refunds and a free alternative accommodation option for the duration of the their stay”.