Day before FIFA World Cup, Qatar faces overcrowding troubles

Authorities turned away thousands of fans Saturday night from a concert celebrating the World Cup beginning the next day in Qatar, revealing the challenges

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Authorities turned away thousands of fans Saturday night from a concert celebrating the World Cup beginning the next day in Qatar, revealing the challenges ahead for Doha as it tries to manage crowds in FIFA’s most-compact tournament ever.

Disappointed fans took being turned away largely in stride. Outside the venue, Qatari police, security guards and others guided the thousands away with giant foam fingers, bullhorns and blinking traffic control wands.

But the overflowing concert comes before the rest of the 1.2 million fans expected at the tournament arrive in this tiny nation on the Arabian Peninsula.

And with Qatar deciding only Friday to ban beer sales from tournament stadiums, fan zones like the one on the corniche hosting the concert will be the only FIFA-associated area serving pints — meaning more fans could wind up there.

“We know that what the police say here goes,” said a 30-year-old trucker from Mumbai, who declined to give his name for fear of reprisals. He and his friends had got a rare day off from Hamad Port to walk 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) to the fan zone before being turned away.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/day-fifa-world-cup-qatar-faces-overcrowding-troubles-rcna58033


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