Football fans from Goa will be more vocal during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which is to start on November 20, because of the proximity of the place, the feasibility thereof and the benefit of an Asian country hosting the mega event for the first time.
For many going to Qatar, this is going to be their first World Cup and for others not the last, because a World Cup is not just about football but a melting pot where cultures meet and blend together.
“I want to see good football, feel good atmosphere and meet different people but, more importantly, I want to see how the best players are going to adapt to this World Cup because for the first time the tournament is being held during the season,” says India’s top coach Derrick Pereira, who will be attending his first World Cup.
“A player owes his career to his club and plays for his country with pride. World Cups were normally held after the season was over. Now players will need to go back to play for their clubs after the World Cup, and I want to see how much the players will be stretching for their country,” observes Derrick while explaining his desire to look past the line separating club and country during the World Cup.
“It could be distinct during this World Cup,” he professes.
“I will be attending my first World Cup because Qatar is very close to us and as Asians, we get visa on arrival, unlike in other countries in Europe or South America where the World Cup was normally held,” says Glynn Silveira, another Goan attending his first World Cup.
“Though many of us thought the World Cup in Qatar would be cheaper, going by trends, it now appears that going to Russia would be the same, as the host country has now introduced the Hayya card which mandates that a ticket must be bought before getting entry into the country,” says Glynn, who runs a travel and tour company.
“I will be rooting for Belgium to win the World Cup, but we have been allotted tickets to other games. I am lucky that I will be attending one match of Portugal and will be able to see Ronaldo play live,” reckons Glynn.
“It is the first time that an Asian country is hosting the World Cup, and I am going to Qatar to specifically see how Asian countries are capable of hosting this tournament in comparison to European or South American countries,” says Ashley Furtado, known for his excellent organisational style and passion where football is concerned in Goa.
“This is my first World Cup but for sure this will not be my last, because the World Cup is a cultural stage that I want to experience. The cultural experience may not be the same in Qatar as it is in other countries, nevertheless, it will be an experience that I will be able to understand better because I am an Asian too,” thinks Ashley, the former CEO of a football club.
“Since this is going to be my first World Cup, I am not in a position to say how different this World Cup is going to be from the others. The idea is to make the best of this opportunity and hope that another one comes my way,” observes Derrick.
“Football is a passion, and passion cannot be described in words. I grew up with this passion and being part of the World Cup, I suppose, is taking this passion to another level. I am going to Qatar to have a ball with football,” says Ashley, when asked to react to Qatar 2022.