At this year’s World Cup in Qatar, it will be the entire business of the athletes and there will be absolutely no tolerance for fans to do anything funny.
Unmarried sex and public drinking are strictly prohibited in the host country. Any fan or visitor who breaks these laws could be jailed for seven years.
A police source told the Daily Star, “Unless you’re coming as a husband and wife team, sex is very rare. There’s definitely not going to be a one-night stand in this match.”
According to the Daily Star, some fans with different surnames have been banned from booking and sharing hotel rooms.
“If you get caught, the consequences are very serious and dire. There’s a feeling it’s really a really bad game for the fans,” a source told the Daily Star.
“Zina” is a legal term used by traditional Islamic countries such as Qatar to criminalize a variety of illegal sexual acts, including premarital sex and homosexuality.
According to the Daily Star, that stance has given pause to some in British law enforcement who don’t want British fans to get into trouble for “doing accepted, everyday things during and after games”.
But Qatar World Cup chief Nasser al-Khater said: “…public expressions of love are not welcome, it’s not part of our culture – it’s all-encompassing for everyone.”
Mansoor Al Ansari, secretary-general of the Qatar Football Federation, said the country was even considering banning the use of the rainbow flag in matches to be played from Nov. 21 to Dec. 21. 18.
Earlier reports suggested that rules around drinking alcohol at matches had been relaxed. In early 2021, Ireland-based RTE reported that MATCH Hospitality, the hotel provider for the World Cup, said they wanted people to be able to drink during the game.
However, smoking would be a luxury. The New York Post reported in February that fans would be allowed to drink in the private MATCH Pearl Lounge suite if they could afford the $4,950 ticket.
The RTE said the host country did experiment with “wet fan zones” when hosting the FIFA Club World Cup in 2019. Fans can get beer at select locations outside the capital, Doha, at affordable prices without paying much higher amounts at some of the capital’s select high-end hotels.
The UK’s I News reported in November that some sites in central Doha, such as Al Bidda Park and Souq Waqif Park, were being seen as wet sector locations.