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.
3:30 p.m. – Iran arrests a famous footballer
The information comes from the Iranian news agency Fars: the Iranian authorities have arrested the famous footballer Voria Ghafouri, accused of having “insulted and tarnished the reputation of the national team (Team Melli) and for having engaged in propaganda” against the state. The player was arrested after his team’s training session “Khouzitan Fooolad” by decision of the judicial authority, according to the same source.
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15 hours – A French supporter tells us about the atmosphere in Doha… without alcohol
Yann Ygonnet is a member of Les Baroudeurs du sport – an association of supporters affiliated with the French Football Federation (FFF). He is also one of 42 supporters “fan leader” French invited by the Qatar organizing committee (plane tickets and accommodation offered). While waiting for the France team’s match against Denmark on Saturday, he tells “Obs” about his experience there:
“The big advantage compared to previous World Cups is that all the matches take place in one city. Before we followed the France team in a city where we were with the opposing supporters, even those of the match after, but that’s all. In Doha, there are fans from 32 nations gathered in one place. So the atmosphere is even crazier and more festive. »
On the other hand, no “Blue House” (fan zone for French supporters) organized by the French Football Federation. A private initiative took over, but not at the same price: “There are three places in Doha where, for 30 euros, you can enter to experience the before, the match and the after”, explains Yann Ygonnet. However, it is one of the few places where supporters can consume alcohol. “Otherwise, it’s in hotel bars and in fan zones where there is beer (13 euros a pint) from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. “says the 35-year-old sales executive – who therefore hardly consumed anything.
1 p.m. – Switzerland tames the Lions
Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0. As a symbol, the “Indomitable Lions”, authors of a good game, gave in on a goal by Breel Embolo, born in Yaoundé but naturalized Swiss in 2014, for their entry into the competition. The Swiss striker from AS Monaco did not celebrate his goal. In all, 137 World Cup players represent a selection other than that of their country of birth, including 37 born in France.
11 a.m. – An Amnesty clip on Belgian TV
Images of national trauma. The king and queen collapsed in the stands of Saint Petersburg. During Belgium’s 1-0 victory over Canada, Belgian viewers were able to see an Amnesty International spot denouncing the World Cup in Qatar: “Football is sometimes unfair, cruel and painful”comments the NGO on tearful images of… the defeat against the France team in the 2018 semi-final.
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“But this year even more so. Let’s not boycott human rights. Sign the petition: Qatar and Fifa must redress the abuses suffered by migrant workers ».
We will think what we want to see these two dramas put on the same level.
World Cup in Qatar: a journey behind the scenes
10 a.m. – Today’s program
Four matches are scheduled today to complete the first round of the group phase warm-up: Switzerland – Cameroon at 11 a.m., Uruguay – South Korea at 2 p.m., Portugal – Ghana at 5 p.m. and Brazil – Serbia at 20 hours.
The opportunity to observe the entry into the running of two Portuguese-speaking superstars: Cristiano Ronaldo, for his last World Cup at 37, and PSG striker Neymar, who had promised to dedicate his first goal to… Jair Bolsonaro, in the event of victory for the latter – the outgoing Brazilian president had in particular been of great moral support during the accusations of rape and tax evasion affecting the Seleçaõ striker. “The Cup is near. It would be really wonderful, Bolsonaro re-elected, Brazil champion and everyone happy., said Neymar at the end of October. It’s grated.
9 a.m. – The Germans shun their TV
Only 9.23 million Germans (59.7% market share) followed Germany’s defeat against Japan (2-1) on Wednesday afternoon for the Mannschaft’s first match at the World Cup in Qatar, audiences are down sharply compared to 2018 on the public television channel ARD, and less than 10 million people, according to the channel. Four and a half years ago, the Germans’ first game in Russia against Mexico (1-0 defeat), when they were reigning world champions, attracted nearly 26 million viewers and more than four Germans on five in front of their television (81.6% market share).
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How Fifa underestimated the carbon footprint of FIFA World Cup stadiums
Across the Rhine, where calls to boycott the World Cup in Qatar have been very numerous, audiences since the start of the World Cup have been in free fall. The opening match was watched on Sunday afternoon by only 6.2 million viewers (less than 30% market share) on the other public channel ZDF, compared to 10 million in 2018.
In France, the good audience of the first match of the Blues (12.5 million viewers for the victory against Australia on Tuesday) is also to be put into perspective, notes this morning “le Parisien”, who underlines that it is the first time since 2010 that the market share fell below 50% for a first match for Les Bleus in major competition.
8 a.m. – These ministers who taunt Fifa
Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib not only attended the victory of the Red Devils against Canada on Wednesday evening: she wore the armband for the occasion in the stands. ” One Love “, denied to Belgium and other European selections. Hadja Lahbib was present in the grandstand of the al-Rayyan stadium alongside, in particular, the president of Fifa, Gianni Infantino.
“Here, our words are worth nothing”: domestic slaves, the other hell of Qatar
“Gianni Infantino explained to me why he had chosen not to allow the Red Devils to wear a ‘One Love’ armband, according to Fifa rules. These rules do not apply in the stands, I took off my jacket and presented my armband”, she explained at the microphone of RTBF. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser also appeared in the stands with this armband during Germany’s match against Japan, scheduled earlier today at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.