FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has achieved multiple successes since its launch on November 20 and even before its launch.
Its success this time comes from the fact that it is the first edition of the World Cup that changed bad habits associated with soccer games, especially those targeting women, and have changed a range of ideas and stereotypes that have long been associated with the world’s largest sporting event.
A report by British newspaper The Times quoted a group of female fans who accompanied their country’s team to Doha to support the “Three Lions”, saying they were not harassed, describing the Qatar World Cup stadiums as more suitable for women to watch matches than in their own country.
Under the ‘Her Game Too’ campaign, British woman Ellie Molloson, 19, is leading a broad campaign in her country to make the stadiums more welcoming to women because of the harassment they experience during matches.
She pointed out that before she came to Qatar to support her country’s national team, she had asked her father to accompany her to Doha. However, in a statement to the British newspaper, she admitted that she “did not need to disturb her father, because the World Cup stadiums in Qatar are different than in her country, there were no cynical chants or gender discrimination of any kind”.
The report considered that Qatar’s stadiums provided a more favourable environment for women than in England. Molloson, a student from Nottingham, said, “I did not suffer from any of the harassment I experienced in England. It was a great environment when I tried it. I’ve got to say coming here has been a real shock to my system,” said Molloson. “There have been no catcalls, wolf whistles or sexism of any kind.”
Molloson’s 49-year-old father and a teacher said he had come to Qatar to care for his daughter but admitted that he had discovered that he did not need to do so because of what he found in it.
English fan Joe Glover, 47, who has attended the World Cup since the 2010 South Africa edition, has not hid her fascination with a distinct version of the World Cup at all levels in Qatar, describing the general atmosphere here as less nervous, everyone is wearing their elected colours, and without any trouble.
Besides the supporters’ testimony, the British newspaper report quoted former English player and the presenter of “Talk Sport” program, Lianne Sanderson, 34, who praised the organisational atmosphere of the Qatar World Cup.
In the same context, a senior British police officer, said the absence of riots in Qatar during the World Cup is evidence that the British Government should not ease restrictions on alcohol in football stadiums, adding that the United Kingdom could learn from experience in Qatar and abandon those ideas.
Chief Constable Mark Roberts, in charge of the UK’s Football Police, said the atmosphere in Qatar was “friendly”, like last summer’s Women’s Euro 2022 finals.
It seems that female fans in the Arabic edition of the World Cup noticed not only the difference in the stands, but also inside the stadium, as Stephanie Frappart, 38, became the first woman to referee in the men’s World Cup in the match between Germany and Costa Rica.
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