Videos posted to social media showed a carnival atmosphere in Qatar’s Lusail City, with fans waving Palestinian flags, wearing the Palestinian kefiyeh and doing the dabke dance to show solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Scores of football fans converged on Qatar’s Lusail City on Saturday waving Palestinian flags ahead of the start of the World Cup.
The event was organised by the Qatar Youth Against Normalization group, bringing together locals and fans who had travelled to the Gulf state for the games.
Videos posted to social media showed a carnival atmosphere in Lusail City, with fans waving Palestinian flags, wearing the Palestinian kefiyeh and doing the dabke dance to show solidarity with the Palestinian people.
“The people of Algeria love Palestine, victory [for the Palestinians] God willing,” said one Algerian fan.Videos of the fans singing and dancing together were shared on social media under the hashtag #raisepalestineflag.
“We love Palestine, long live Palestine!” said one Tunisian fan.
“Free Palestina, Vamos Palestina!” said an Argentinian fan, who had joined the scores of other football fans in Lusail, The event came hours after Qatari Assistant Foreign Minister Lulwah Al-Khater expressed solidarity with the Palestinians at a press conference on the eve of the tournament.
“We expect to celebrate [the World Cup] with thousands of our brothers and sisters from Palestine and we affirm here that their cause and our just cause in Palestine will always remain present in our conscience,” she said.Al-Khater made the remarks at a press conference in which it was announced that Qatar, along with several partner organisations, would be providing screens for 180,000 refugees and displaced people to watch the World Cup.
The screens will be placed in locations in seven countries hit by conflict or hosting refugees, including Palestine and the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.
The 2022 World Cup is set to kick off in Doha on Sunday evening, and is the first time an Arab country has hosted football’s top international tournament.