An 18,000 square metre fan festival, the size of almost three football pitches, will greet fans as they arrive at the Khalifa Stadium in Qatar on Saturday 14 November to watch Brazil play England.
The fan festival, which opens at 3pm on match day – ahead of the 8pm kick-off – will run until late evening and will have three distinct entertainment villages that capture the essence of Brazil, England and Qatar. The aim, say organisers, is to enable fans to experience the unique sights, sounds and flavours of each country in a fun, family friendly atmosphere.
His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Bid Committee, said: “Qatar is enormously proud to be hosting two great national teams. We want all fans to enjoy themselves, have fun and experience first-hand a warm Arab welcome that will leave them amazed – and I’m sure the Fan Festival will help to do this.”
Sheikh Mohammed added: “Qatar’s Bid to host the World Cup in 2022 offers an historic opportunity to bring people from all around the world together in friendship and unity. Fans from around the globe will be offered a once-in-a-lifetime football experience. And in doing so, hosting the world’s greatest tournament in Qatar will bring hope and joy to millions of people, young and old, all across our region.
“FIFA has taken visionary steps in recent years in its choice of host nation, opening the world of football first to Asia and now to Africa. If Qatar were granted the honour in 2022, this would be the first time that the World Cup is hosted in the Middle East – and I believe that we deserve the chance. We can bring the world closer together through the power of football and so help foster greater unity and understanding.”
Sheikh Mohammed concluded: “Our World Cup proposal will also focus on the fan experience. I know from personal experience that it is not easy travelling around a country, changing hotels so that you can support your team during a World Cup tournament.
“The compact size of our nation – and therefore our proposal – will give fans the opportunity to see every match, without the need for that travel and hotel changes. It will be highly organised, so there will be hardly any need for commuting between matches. And, as I hope our visitors will see from this coming match, our fan zones will be second to none.”
The Brazil village, with a virtual backdrop of the Copacabana beach, will include a mini beach soccer pitch, soccer speed shooting and target machines, music from a traditional Brazilian Batucada drum band and athletic and tumbling Capoeira dancers.
The England village, with a virtual backdrop of Big Ben, will include a soccer Playstation video gaming wall, a “keep the ball” competition, Buckingham Palace Guards and music from the Bootleg Beatles.
The Qatar village will include an Asian Cup 2011 activity zone, a Qatar 2022 exhibition zone and video booth where fans can write and record their messages of support, falconry exhibitions and henna painting.
In addition, world-renowned football freestylers will be performing across the villages, fans can get their faces painted in their team’s colours and traditional Brazilian, English and Qatari food will be available for fans.