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Qatar under attack as opening day gets close

Qatar has found itself in the firing line as the start of the 2022 World Cup moves ever closer.

FIFA’s decision to award the tournament to Qatar received widespread criticism, and the negativity has been ramped up in recent days.

Malicious social media posts linking Qatar with bribing Ecuador to throw the opening game perfectly highlighted the current news narrative.

Amjad Taha’s Twitter account, which boasts over 400,000 followers, claimed the hosts had offered a bribe to their opponents.

However, it was subsequently reported that the account is well known for spreading disinformation and the claims were false.

While Qatar has seemingly not been handing out brown envelopes, a late U-turn on alcohol sales at World Cup stadiums has not gone down well with fans.

FIFA confirmed alcohol will not be sold inside or around the perimeter of stadiums, sparking talk of tournament sponsors taking legal action.

Budweiser has a £63 million sponsorship agreement with FIFA and is likely to regard the alcohol ban as a significant breach of contract.

Accusations of payments to ‘fake fans’ was another story that sparked plenty of chatter on social platforms and cast a shadow over the World Cup.

Another example of the negativity around Qatar 2022 were the videos of Indian ex-pats cheering on the England team in Doha which went viral on social media.

One England supporter from Kerala who led the chants described claims that the group had received cash to be cheerleaders as ‘fake news’.

Negative messaging from prominent people in football has also been a feature of the build-up to the World Cup and is likely to continue during the tournament.

However, numerous people have been called out over the hypocrisy of travelling to Qatar and banking money from the country’s oppressive regime.

They include Gary Neville, who has been a vocal critic of the decision to award the tournament to Qatar but is still taking their money.

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