A trip to the World Cup in Qatar. High costs, but no shortage of volunteers

The Polish national team qualified for the world championship thanks to a 2-0 win over Sweden in the play-off at the end of March. After the April draw, the Polish team was in Group C, along with Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Argentina.

Already around May and June, most tickets for the World Cup matches were sold out and Polish fans – due to the late promotion of the white and red colors – were unable to participate in the initial phase of ticket distribution.

Nevertheless, according to PZPN data, the demand for the inaugural match with Mexico was 78,785 tickets, even more for the match against Argentina – 79,997, and for the match with Saudi Arabia, the number of registrations was 16,955.

Two attractive matches

The two most attractive matches from the fans’ point of view are played by the team of coach Czesław Michniewicz in a pitch with a capacity of 40,000. Stadium 974 people. In contrast, the whites-and-reds play against Saudi Arabia at the Educational City Stadium with a capacity of 45,350 people.

Officially, national associations are entitled to eight percent of the tickets for each match, ie in Poland 3200 for matches with Mexico and Argentina and more than 3.6 thousand tickets. for a showdown with Saudi Arabia practically playing “home”.

How many supporters of the Polish national team will eventually be in the stands will be announced on match day. A little earlier it will be explained how many fans from the country will fly to matches, and how many will come to support the whites and reds from other parts of the world.

The upcoming event will be significantly different from previous World Cups. Firstly, it has never been played in the Arab world before and will exceptionally start in November, not in the usual summer time. This decision was caused by the warm climate prevailing in the host country. The ticket prices will also be a big difference.

Championship duration

“The cost in Qatar is incomparable with the previous world championships. The most expensive in history is not just tickets, but even more needs to be spent on travel and accommodation on site” – said PAP Henryk Sobieraj, director of travel agency Gryf, who organizes trips to the world championship tournaments and other sporting events.

Ticket prices for a group meeting range from about PLN 300 to PLN 966. To watch the opening match from the stands, you have to pay about 1.3 thousand PLN. up to 2.7 thousand PLN, while the opportunity to watch the final costs from 2.6 thousand. up to 7,000 zlotys.

The cheapest flight option in November, direct from Warsaw to Doha, the capital of Qatar, is the offer of Qatar Airways. The journey, which takes about 5 hours and 25 minutes, costs about 3,000. PLN for a one-way flight.

As Sobieraj emphasized, finding suitable hotels for accommodation can also be a problem. notes that many of the accommodation options at this point of selection do not meet the requirements and, for example, do not provide basic board. He explains this situation by the fact that the Polish national team qualified late for the tournament and places in many hotels have been booked long ago.

Accommodation prices in Doha for one person range from 200 to even 1000 PLN per night. The tournament organizer also offers numerous accommodation offers for the duration of the event, which, however, are in much higher price ranges.

The card is required to enter the stadium

New for the upcoming world championships is the Hayya Card, a card that replaces the entry visa to Qatar. You need this for access to the stadium and accommodation. According to Sobieraj, this is a big difficulty for the fans.

“If there were normally rules, as in the case of the World Cup in Russia, the interest would be much greater” – there is no doubt about it.

Alcohol is hard to come by in Qatar, which for some people is an integral part of cheering. According to the tournament organizer’s law, alcohol may only be purchased in luxury hotels and the only shop in Doha. Consuming alcohol in a public place is an offence. FIFA has tried to influence local authorities to relax the law or provide low-percentage alcohol, but talks are still ongoing.

In 2018, 300 people attended the tournament together with travel agency Gryf. However, Sobieraj warns that it is difficult to say how many Poles bought tickets for the World Cup this year. He claims that more fans bought tickets for individual matches than for all Polish matches in the group stage.

“And only after you physically receive the ticket, you can think about booking an accommodation, because the ticket has a special number that allows you to book a hotel room,” he explained.

There will be more and more people

He also pointed out that before the last World Cup in Russia, Polish fans had more time to reserve seats, which increased the interest.

“Before the 2018 World Cup, we didn’t play in the play-offs and immediately after finishing first in the qualifying group, the fans were able to book accommodation,” he recalls.

“Nevertheless, I believe that the closer the event is, the more prepared it should be. After all, there are still almost five months until the World Cup,” he concluded. (DAD)

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