Sunday, January 30, 2011

Asian Cup Ridiculousness #2

Okay, so, I bought a ticket to go see the Asian Cup final in Doha, Qatar about a month before the game, which was held last night. I paid 35QR for said ticket. Fair enough, not a bad price, really. Last night, I go to the game between Australia and Japan at Khalifa Stadium. I get in only to find that they were letting everyone and anyone in free, without a ticket. No one cared about my ticket. Why did I pay 35QR for this ticket again? Why were people who paid nothing getting better seats? Made no sense. When I got into the stadium, it was just stupid. I went to find my seat and was just told to sit anywhere, to go in any gate and just get a seat. Okay, well, fine, I got in, I got a seat, and I watched the game. Well, apparently, not long after I had gotten in, they shut the gates, leaving about 3000 fans, many of them holding a ticket for the game, locking them out. This included people who had traveled from Australia and Japan for said game. Needless to say, they were unhappy, and, according to reports, there was some roughness between some fans and the police. No explanation was given as to why they were not allowed in. The gates were just shut. At the end of the game? If you were still there when the award ceremony started, you were in until the gates reopened. I left before the final goal. But others were locked into the stadium at the end of the game to watch an awards ceremony and fireworks. Of course, people were told that gates would be closed until 15 minutes AFTER the end of the fireworks "for your safety". So, why did all of this take place? Well, Sepp Blatter and the Emir were in attendance for starters. It's clear that they wanted as many people in seats as possible before the game got under way to show that they could get the fans. Unfortunately, that meant that anyone deemed late was left outside. When has anyone in Qatar been on time for anything? Apparently, for this one event, everyone was supposed to be there and in their seats well before kick off. They closed the gate 45 minutes before the game started. What? Why?? That makes no sense. Then, the fans locked out are blamed by the organizers for not being on time? What? Huh?? It was the fans fault that you gave away the seats they paid for to other people for FREE in order to look good in front of the FIFA president, the Emir and TV cameras?? Yes, that, once again, is the way things are done here. Window dressing. They don't care about the fans. They care about looking good. They care about looking like they can host a World Cup while clearly showing that they can't. Why did I pay for a ticket I shouldn't have paid for? Why did people pay for tickets and hotels and then be shut out of the game? Then, THEN, to add insult to injury, they showed the number of fans in attendance on the big screen. It was something like 37,500 people. How did they come up with this number? Whose butt was this pulled out of?? No one was checking tickets. Everyone was just being shuffled in as fast as possible into seats. How they could have possibly got some exact count of the number of people were in the stadium is beyond me. And, another question comes up. Estimates were that 3000 people were locked out. The stadium holds about 40,000. That means 2,500 seats were empty. That isn't all that far off of the number of people stuck outside of the stadium. Does this make sense? Of course not! Why would it make sense? Overall, it was a disgusting display. What is going to happen when the World Cup comes?? I can't imagine 3000 England fans being told they can't attend a game when they have tickets in their hands, can you? This was a disgrace and Qatar and the organizers should be ashamed.

Here are some news stories on the whole affair for your reading enjoyment.

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