The 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup will commence on the 20th of November and the excitement among football fans is inflating steadily.
The World Cup tournament marks the first time of its kind in the Middle East, with football lovers, sports pundits, and other travelers unsure of what they should expect as they visit Qatar.
In this regard, some exceptions to Qatar’s legal rules have been compiled for the sake of the 2022 World Cup travelers.
However, it is crucial to note that Qatari law gives no tolerance to visitors or those who claim ignorance of their constitution, hence, fans touring should take extra precautions.
More so, the Qatari security officials have oftentimes pleaded with football fans to honor the country’s culture and abide by its laws.
Therefore, Futballnews has provided our amiable readers with the lawful dos and don’ts to take note of when visiting Qatar, which includes liquor regulations, clothing, and behavior during the period of the tournament.
Below are the rules and regulations fans are to take note of to ensure their safety as they travel to Qatar for the World Cup action:
1. Qatar’s COVID-19 Travel & Return Policy.
Football fans who will be traveling to support their countries are required to submit an official negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than 48 hours before the departure time.
In absence of the COVID-19 test, an official negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) result taken no more than 24 hours before departure time will be accepted, and travelers must abide by all Covid-19 protocols which include wearing a nose mask and avoiding handshakes in public places, including the stadium.
2.Alcohol and Hard Drugs
Only fans who have attained the age of 21and above are allowed to buy and drink alcohol in Qatar, and fans can expect to get alcohol in “licensed bars or restaurants”.
In addition, beer will be made available to fans after 6.30 pm in fan zones before and after matches across all eight stadium compounds.
However, drinking and partying after football games, which is allowed in other territories, is also strictly prohibited.
Smoking cigarettes is allowed in Qatar but it is forbidden in all public spaces including restaurants, sports centers, museums, and shopping malls.
Anyone apprehended for this can be subjected to fines of up to QAR 3000 (around £740).
4. Public Romance and Intimacy
Any form of public romance, such as kissing can result to arrest in Qatar.
Qatar is famous for its strict laws against homosexuality, bestiality, or any form of unacceptable sexual relation.
Whosoever is found guilty of “leading, instigating or seducing a male by in any way to commit sodomy” can lawfully face the death penalty, but it’s more likely to be a jail sentence or deportation.
Moreover, fans are warned against shaking hands with Qatari women as it’s termed a gesture that can be described as disrespectful.
5. Unmarried Sex
The host country has banned sexual relations between unmarried people, including during sporting events. The decision concerns both nationals and foreigners.
Daily Star reported that FIFA officials have warned that “no exceptions will be made,” stressing further that one-night stands could lead to seven years of imprisonment.
Similarly, the Qatari police have emphasized that: “There is essentially a sex ban in place at this year’s World Cup for the first time. Fans need to be prepared.”
6. Fans’ Behaviour
Whereas, Qatar is ready to avoid any form of unruly behavior from fans by enforcing its stringent policies on foul statements.
Anyone found guilty of fighting or swearing can face deportation or imprisonment as these are likely punishments for the crimes.
7. Indecent Dressing
Football fans traveling to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup actions have been advised to dress “modestly”, with their shoulders covered, and also to avoid short skirts.
Moreover, shorts or sleeveless tops are not approved, with access to some authorized buildings likely being disallowed to whosoever disregards their modesty standards.
In addition, football fans could face huge fines for going topless in Qatar.
The peak male form shall not be on display in the Qatar World Cup
8. Hayya cards
Most importantly, the Hayya cards are essential for anyone wishing to enter Qatar after November 1, 2022, as travelers will be expected to apply for a Hayya card to enable them entrance.
The card allows fans entry into the country, buying of tickets and it’s also required for booking of accommodation, amongst other things.
The Hayya card can be bought at Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena in Qatar. Fans will also be able to print their cards at the arena. The center will be open from 10 AM to 10 PM daily and 2 PM to 10 PM on Fridays, until 23 January 2023.
You can purchase the Hayya card online via the ‘Hayya to Qatar 2022’ mobile application. Fans must keep their cards with them at all times.