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#trending: World Cup fans bemoan hot 'tin can' rooms, brown water in bathrooms; others have no complaints

QATAR — When fans arrived at the Qetaifan Island Fan Village in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, they apparently found accommodation that looked incomplete, with workers hurriedly making finishing touches even after it opened to guests last Friday (Nov 18).

  • Some guests at Qatar's World Cup fan village expressed disappointment and outrage at what they said were poor conditions of the accommodation
  • Guests were unhappy with the small rooms and lack of ventilation, among other complaints, despite paying about US$207 (S$286) a night for the stay
  • The fan village was also apparently still under construction, hours before the World Cup kicked off 
  • Social media users drew comparisons of the fan villages to the infamous 2017 Fyre Festival

QATAR — When fans arrived at the Qetaifan Island Fan Village in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, they apparently found accommodation that looked incomplete, with workers hurriedly making finishing touches even after it opened to guests last Friday (Nov 18).

British newspaper The Guardian reported that elsewhere, the Rawdat Al Jahhaniya Fan Village also seemed to be still under construction, two days before the World Cup commenced on Sunday.

Fans who had chosen to stay at Qatar's World Cup fan village had plenty of other complaints, too.

The US$207 (S$286) a night accommodation was far from what some fans had imagined, British broadcaster BBC Sport reported. 

UNBEARABLE HEAT

A visitor from Spain identified as just Pedro told BBC Sport that In the Qetaifan Island Fan Village, guests stayed in tents made of “thick plastic”.

A single electric fan stands in the two-bedder tent for guests to fend off the desert heat in Qatar, which is expecting maximum temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s degree Celsius this week.

The lack of air-conditioning, combined with the tent material, made the accommodation unbearably hot and feel like “a greenhouse”, Pedro and Fatima from Spain said in the interview with BBC Sport. 

They also said that water from the shared bathroom runs brown when guests first turn on the tap. 

A padlock the size of a luggage lock is used to lock up the tents that can be opened and closed with a zip.

A French football fan named Djamal decided to leave the fan village presumably in search of better accommodation despite calling the price he paid for the accommodation “very, very expensive”. 

Mr Djamal, who paid US$3,317 for a three-week stay at the fan village, told BBC Sport that he thought the accommodation would be a hotel.

At the similarly priced Rawdat Al Jahhaniya fan camp, guests are housed in container cabins. Similar feedback of dissatisfaction were being reported as guests expressed outrage at the small rooms and high prices. 

Mr Milad Mahmooditar, 32, from Iran's capital Tehran told British tabloid Daily Mail: “'It is ridiculous that I have to pay so much money to stay in this tin can.”

A Welsh fan who declined to be named told Daily Mail: “Is this what they're going to put us in? Metal containers with no air, very little light and like a shoebox?”

The fan village had still resembled a construction site with forklifts and rubble surrounding a sea of shipping containers 48 hours before the World Cup kicked off, The Guardian reported.

Social media users drew comparisons of Qatar’s World Cup fan villages to the infamous Fyre Festival that occurred in 2017, with one Twitter user remarking that there was a “Fyre Festival vibe”.

Fyre Festival was a music festival hosted in the Bahamas. It was marketed as a premium event and heavily promoted by social media influencers. 

The festival ultimately flopped, with guests arriving to accommodation that was still under construction. The event was beset by many other organisational problems as well.

SOME FANS SAY CONDITIONS 'NOT TOO BAD'

The reactions of guests appear to be more favourable at the Fan Village Cabins Free Zone. 

The container cabins, described by Singapore broadcaster CNA as basic and no frills, were regarded as satisfactory by some guests. 

Welsh football fan Gruff Davies told CNA: "We came here open-minded because we genuinely didn't know what to expect. It's not been too bad, to be fair." 

Mr Davies and another Welsh football fan Cai Edwards said that they had “expected worse”.

Visitors also mentioned that higher prices of accommodation options elsewhere was one reason why they chose to stay at the fan village. 

Rolling Stone magazine reported that although 1.2 million visitors are expected in Qatar for the World Cup, only 30,000 hotel rooms were available in March and 80 per cent had been booked for teams and officials from the international football governing body Fifa and sponsors.

World Cup organisers offered nine fan villages that varied from lodging in tents, shipping containers and even glamping in an eco-farm.

Organisers also hired cruise ships as floating hotels to deal with the accommodation crunch, US news outlet Voice of America reported. Prices for cruise ship rooms start from US$179, its official booking page showed.

Visit our World Cup 2022 page for the latest news, updates, fixtures, scores and more.

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