Madrid, Nov 16 (EFE).- The organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Wednesday hit back at media reports questioning the authenticity of fans who have been gearing up to the tournament in the Gulf nation with parades and celebrations.
The debate erupted on social media after several videos showing revelers, seemingly most of South Asian heritage, chanting their support for teams such as England, Argentina, Spain and France went viral amid accusations that the fans bore no relation to those teams and may have been paid.
But the Qatar World Cup’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy rebuked the allegations in a statement, saying the reports were “disappointing and unsurprising.”
“Journalists on the ground who speak and meet these fans are realizing the reality,” the statement said.
“Qatar, and the rest of the world, is comprised of a diverse range of football fans, many of whom share emotional connections with multiple nations.
“In different places around the world, fans have different traditions, different ways to celebrate, and while that may contrast with what people are used to in Europe or South America, it doesn’t mean the passion for football is any less authentic,” it added.
Qatar has a large population of South Asian foreign workers hailing from India, Bangladesh and Nepal. EFE