We’ve made Al Sadd Stadium red on the World Cup 2014 Qualifiers Qatar versus Indonesia, 11 Nov 2011. Though Qatar finally trashed Indonesia 4:0 (and it means Indonesian does not qualify), we had a good time: singing, yelling, mexican-waving, applauding and jeering. It’s not about the result but about nationalism (ahh that’s probably too much), or may be about the atmosphere.
13,500-capacity Al Sadd Stadium was filled with full of Indonesians in the whole section behind one goal, a half section behind another goal, and a half section on the VIP areas. Meanwhile Qataris (and its supporters including those labors I saw herded to the stadium prior to the match) occupied one whole long sections of the stadium. Though tension was quite warm, the match and the supporters watched very peacefully.
Qatar wanted to become a good host but again it was under a test with a smaller scale of similar Asian Cup consternation on ticketing repeated. A lot of ticket holders couldn’t enter the stadium for a classic reason: stadium is full. Again this was because non-ticket holders were allowed to enter, or two tickets or less for the whole family, while those ticket holders who were coming late rejected. Many were also back home dissappointingly after queueing from 3pm for ticket booth closed earlier. Anyway it’s another lesson learned for Qatar before 11 years to come to host World Cup 2022.
From a credible source I learned that there is a maximum number of spectators from the guest team (8%? means about 1000 out of 13,000) but the organizers, QFA, match commissioners, security agency and Embassy worked together to ensure as many as supporters could watch inside the stadium. The total number of Indonesian supporters was estimated at around 3000, many more should have been able to enter only if Qatar coach did not reject the idea of admitting more Indoensian supporters for valid reason: Qatar is playing home not away!
On that basis, thank you Qatar!
Meanwhile, Qatar national team played with full determination, high stamina and excellent passing and crossing. They deserved winning the match. Mabruk!