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Football

There's loads of empty seats at the World Cup, another reason this shouldn't be in Qatar

Ryan Sidle

Published 
| Last updated 

There's loads of empty seats at the World Cup, another reason this shouldn't be in Qatar

Football fans on social media couldn't believe the amount of empty seats in Qatar, as Senegal and Netherlands kicked off their World Cup campaigns.

Whether it's human rights issues that FIFA want us to forget, and the banning of the 'One Love' captains armband is a way for them to force that, or the fact it's in the winter, fans have not exactly been ecstatic with Qatar being World Cup hosts.

The tournament kicked off on Sunday, with the home team facing Ecuador in their first ever World Cup game, with Felix Sanchez's side losing 2-0.

They actually became the first host team to lose their opening game in the tournament's history, stretching back to Uruguay beating Peru in 1930.

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They've not exactly got a long history as a football nation, having never qualified until their automatic qualification as hosts, and only twice before 2012, when they were given the competition, getting out of the group stages of the Asia Cup.

Qatar have since gone on to win that competition but it doesn't seem to have made them into a country of huge football followers.

On Monday evening, the other two sides in Group A started their own campaigns, with Senegal and Netherlands facing each other in Al Thumama Stadium.

Those watching on television couldn't help notice that a huge swathe of fans had come in fancy dress, as the plastic seats, with thousands of empty seats.

"More empty seats at Senegal-Netherlands than at a haemorrhoids sufferers' convention," Paddy Power noted in typical fashion.

Another fan pointed out that other games had also seen empty seats, adding, "The amount of empty seats at every stadium genuinely makes this tournament feel like the covid Euros."

"This is fucking shambolic, thousands of empty seats, again," a Dutch fan said.

Canadian journalist Joe Callaghan noted, "We’re 30mins in at Al Thumama Stadium and there are still banks and rows of empty seats. This is arguably the best game of the first week, in joint-smallest venue. If they can’t sell this one out…"

A fourth fans added, "Never thought a World Cup group stage game between the Netherlands and Senegal would have so many empty seats... sad to see."

The man over the tannoy then announced the attendance inside the stadium and crazily they managed to announce more people inside the stadium than it actually seats.

The Al Thumama holds 40,000 but the announcement claimed there were 41,721 inside, despite it being very clear how few were actually in attendance.

Senegal faced Netherlands on Monday evening. Image: Alamy
Senegal faced Netherlands on Monday evening. Image: Alamy

Those in attendance were not treated to the fast start that Ecuador had given fans on Sunday or the sheer amount of goals England and Iran shared earlier on Monday, and had to wait for things to really get going.

It was PSV forward Cody Gakpo, tipped by many to be the tournament's breakout star, who opened the scoring in the 84th minute.

The Dutchman beat Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to the ball, after a brilliant cross from Frenkie de Jong, nodding into an almost empty net.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football World Cup, Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal

Ryan Sidle
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