On Qatari time
Every day, “l’Obs” tells you about the daily life and the strangeness of the World Cup in Qatar, which began on November 20. This World Cup of all the controversies – environmental cost, flouted human rights, bereaved construction sites, suspicions of corruption – takes place in an unprecedented atmosphere. Hour by hour, follow behind the scenes of the competition of all excesses and find our reports and decryptions in our special file.
2 p.m. – No anthem for Iranians
The eleven Iranian players refrained from singing their national anthem before the kick-off of their first match of the World Cup-2022 against England. During the week, their captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh had explained that the players would decide “collectively” whether or not to sing the national anthem as a sign of support for the victims of the harshly repressed demonstrations in their country.
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The English players for their part, as promised, put their knees on the lawn shortly before the kick-off of the meeting to protest against discrimination. The World Cup, the biggest political forum in the world… much to the chagrin of Fifa.
1 p.m. – Will the English kneel?
England, who are among the favorites of the competition, face Iran in their first match at 2 p.m. (Paris time). A meeting with a strong political content, in the context of demonstrations for women’s rights in the Islamic Republic. England coach Gareth Southgate announced at a press conference on Sunday that the players would take a knee before the start of the match to protest against all discrimination, a gesture the team has become accustomed to since the “Black Lives Matter” movement. in 2020. “We think we should do it”said the English coach. “That’s what we represent as a team. »
England captain Harry Kane, who was keen to wear the inclusive “One Love” armband, seen by Fifa as political criticism of human rights abuses in Qatar, had to give up in the face of sporting and financial threats, like six other federations .
12:30 p.m. – Gims will sing on the day of the final
If Qatar failed to recruit a world star to sing during the opening ceremony – the American actor Morgan Freeman nevertheless distinguished himself – the French public will see a famous face on their screens on December 18 next: ” happy “, the Congolese singer Gims announced on Twitter his participation in the closing ceremony, “for the Congo, for France, for history”. Happiness never comes alone, the songwriter and rapper will have meanwhile released a new album on December 2.
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World Cup in Qatar: a journey behind the scenes
11:30 a.m. – No armbands for fear of yellow cards
Pay a fine, yes, take a yellow card, no. The seven European teams who had planned to wear the colored armband ” One Love “including England, which begins its competition this Monday in Doha, have… thrown in the towel, faced with the threat of “sporting sanctions” – include yellow cards.
“Fifa has been very clear, they will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the pitch. As national federations, we cannot ask our players to risk sporting sanctions”, wrote these seven federations. England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland have therefore waived their respective captains incurring a yellow card because of this inclusive armband, while saying to themselves “frustrated” by the inflexibility of Fifa.
Business, packages, boycott: the blues of the Blues before the World Cup
Initially part of the initiative ” One Love “, France had already announced by the voice of its captain Hugo Lloris that it would not wear the armband. Long silent on the subject, Fifa reacted on Saturday by unsheathing its own captain’s armbands, carrying much more consensual messages, such as “Save the planet”, “Education for All” or “No to discrimination”. Anything but a criticism, even veiled, of the organizing country…
10 a.m. – Today’s program
Three matches to eat this Monday, November 21 for this start of the first round: England – Iran at 2 p.m., Senegal – Netherlands at 5 p.m. and United States – Wales at 8 p.m. The English “Three Lions” are among the favorites of the competition.
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9 a.m. – Record sales and audiences on the rise
Nearly 3 million tickets for the World Cup in Qatar have been sold, Fifa announced on Sunday, also revealing that the tournament should earn it a staggering sum of 7.2 billion euros by the end of the year. year. Fifa President Gianni Infantino rejoiced in front of the 211 members of the international federation that these “fantastic numbers” have been achieved “despite the Covid, despite the various crises in the world”.
Should we watch the “Gross Cup”? The fans’ dilemma
Qatar has already sold more tickets than Russia, which sold 2.4 million at the 2018 World Cup. Fans from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United States, Mexico, Great Britain, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, France, India and Brazil are the ones who bought the most precious sesame.
In addition, more than 5 million viewers followed the opening match according to Médiamétrie, an audience higher than that of the Mondial-2018 (a little less than 4 million spectators, but on a Thursday). “Huge success for the launch” of the World Cup, rejoiced TF1, the only French channel to broadcast the matches in the clear.
8 a.m. – “We were frozen to death”: the air conditioning of the opening match is the talk of the town
We hope that Gérald Darmanin had taken a little wool. The French Minister of the Interior, who had made the trip for the ceremony and the opening match of the World Cup on Sunday, will have taken advantage of the air conditioning in the evening humidity of Al-Khor, where the temperature did not exceed yet not 27°C at the hottest of the day.
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“When Macron says that sport should not be politicized, it is denying a reality”
It was only 25°C outside the Al-Bayt stadium when Qatar-Ecuador kicked off, which saw the host team lose logically (0-2), and yet the air conditioning was fine and good. well on the way to guaranteeing a temperature of 20°C in the bays of the stadium… whose roof was open. The supporters and the guests therefore put the jacket back on.
“We were all frozen to death,” confides Angelica, Ecuadorian supporter, at the microphone of RMC Sport. “In Ecuador, we have regions where it is cold but here, it was worse than at home or at your place in Europe. We had frozen feet. We covered ourselves with our flag. We wanted them to turn off the air conditioning. »
” It is too cold “complained Faisal, a Qatari supporter interviewed by the Associated Press, wondering if the air conditioning, which ” works well “, was much needed in the windy, desert night. To host the World Cup, Qatar built or renovated eight stadiums in total, seven of which are equipped with air conditioning. However, the organizing committee promised a few months before the competition that “The air conditioning will not be activated since the months of November and December in Qatar correspond to the winter period. The temperature is therefore mild. But why deprive yourself?