Thousands watch parades of supporters as football fever grips Qatar

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Portugal fans celebrate during a parade in Doha.

Doha: Thousands of football fans descended on the Doha Corniche and Souq Waqif this weekend for a parade wearing the shirts of their favorite teams accompanied by drums and other musical instruments.

The whole area around Flag Plaza had a festive atmosphere with thousands of people, including young children, wearing team shirts, shawls, face paints and holding flags marching on the Doha Corniche, which is already pedestrian for the World Cup.

Cheerful fans enjoying the Corniche is the trailer before the big show where millions more will arrive for the biggest sporting spectacle to be held in this region.

Brazilian supporters celebrate.

Argentinian and Brazilian fans outnumbered the rest as they came out in large numbers and were seen dancing to the beats of the drum team who went on for hours without missing a beat. The other teams, although a little less numerous, caught up with their enthusiasm by singing the tunes of their national teams while enjoying the good weather and the atmosphere.

Argentinian fans celebrate at the Corniche in Doha. Photos: Salim Matramkot/The Peninsula

Speaking to The Peninsula, Pravin, a longtime resident of Qatar and die-hard Argentine fan, said he was there with his six-year-old to show their support for Argentina. “It’s a rare opportunity for fans like me to see our favorite stars play in front of us. I’ve watched the last World Cups on TV and I’m very very excited to see the matches live this time in Qatar. The atmosphere here is frenetic and my son and I were planning a brisk 15 minute walk on the Corniche and ended up spending over two hours The football atmosphere was unmissable”

Argentinian and Brazilian fans weren’t the only ones to color the Corniche and Souq Waqif in their team colors. A large group of fans were seen supporting other World Cup teams like France, England, Germany, Spain, Portugal among others.

The Portugal fans were seen having a lot of fun at Souq Waqif and leading them was their fan leader Elisabete Reis.

She told The Peninsula they were over 150 happy fans and had a great time at the show.

“We were over 150 fans and we traveled together from Msheireb station for the metro experience. The whole group marched together through Souq Waqif, singing and raising flags. “other fans of running the ball like Cristiano Ronaldo. Everyone had a blast trying this. We also handed out our membership forms and sang many songs accompanied by drums. We had people from all over the world supporting our team as well as media covering the event. It was a great experience and we are looking forward to the kick off,” she added.

Friday’s parade by fans on the Corniche and Souq Waqif was just a teaser of the biggest show to come as millions of fans are expected to descend on Qatar in the coming days and plenty of exciting activities including including entertainment programs, are being prepared by the organizers for the fans, including several fan zones. The excitement quotient rises exponentially and the football vibe is felt across the country.

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