World Cup 2022: Seven of the most memorable fan moments so far

It's the fantastic fans who have made the Qatar tournament

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As ever, it's the fans who make the World Cup.

And the Middle East's first hosting of the tournament has been no different.

For all the controversy over Qatar's hosting of the games, the accommodation options — not to mention the prices — supporters from across the globe have created an unrivalled carnival atmosphere.

Here are some of the highlights so far:

Support for Palestinian cause

A Uruguay fan holds aloft a T-shirt showing support for Palestine during the match against Portugal at the Lusail Stadium. AFP

The people of Palestine must often feel that the world has forgotten their cause.

Still stateless after more than seven decades, very few can afford to make it to the World Cup, despite Qatar allowing flights for fans from Israel and Palestine.

But there have been messages of support from the stands at almost every match. Both Arab fans and others — including many South Americans — have shown their backing for the Palestinian people.

He's nae Neymar!

He's one of the world's most famous footballers and he's right here in Doha. But he wasn't this guy walking down the street in the Qatari capital, who was mobbed by passing fans.

Even Fox Sports believed he was the PSG and Brazil striker — currently out of action with an ankle injury — and he was manhandled by supporters desperate for a selfie.

Fox admitted they'd been “got”, as were many fans. It's not clear, but the entourage of two men leading him through the crowd suggests it was a stunt of some sort.

Line dancing gives Mexicans a wave of energy

Mexico fans don't hold back when they attend a football match, but this impromptu flashmob drew in more than 100 of them into a traditional line dance.

The spectacle had hundreds reaching for their cameras.

Mexicans travelled more than 10,000km to be at the World Cup, and have been a joy to watch.

Doha dabke v Brazilian samba

These Arab and Brazilian fans faced off in a friendly clash of cultures outside a Doha stadium.

It was the dabke vs the Brazilian samba, as onlookers filmed every moment.

The dabke is a folk dance originating in the Eastern Mediterranean, now common at weddings in the Gulf, while the Brazilian samba is self-explanatory.

Japanese tidy as they go

The Japanese been dubbed the world's most considerate football fans for scouring stadiums for rubbish after matches.

Whether winning against Germany or losing to Costa Rica, supporters have been scrupulously courteous.

Japan supporters who had tickets for Qatar vs Ecuador even cleaned that stadium after the game.

Middle East fans' energy

There have been impressive performances by the region's teams at this World Cup, with Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Iran all punching above their weight.

But it is their fans who have brought an energy to the streets of Doha that the city has seldom seen before.

The Souq Waqif became a focal point for fans, who have celebrated late into the night with drums and chanting.

The celebrations have been good natured, with barely any reports of trouble — in contrast to previous tournaments.

Family-friendly affair

The British media fixation on beer availability and prices at the start of the tournament appeared to dominate its opening days.

In fact, fans found that they could buy whatever drinks they wished in a range of dedicated areas.

But ensuring there was no alcohol available inside stadiums and in Doha's city centre, for example, has created a family-friendly atmosphere seldom seen in other World Cup and Euro tournaments.

And the interaction between police, security and Qatari locals and fans has been second to none.

Updated: November 30, 2022, 4:07 AM
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