Concrete, searing heat and £12 beers: inside Doha’s World Cup fan festival | World Cup 2022

In the tetchy heat of a Doha lunch hour, there was a welcome loosening of ties – and then, surprisingly, of tongues. It came as Fifa launched a World Cup fan festival so vast that 40,000 supporters will soon be able to congregate in shared communion near the Corniche: to watch, to cheer, to drink overpriced beer, if only between 7pm and 1am. Perhaps even to love, too.

“It will be a multidimensional, festival-like experience,” promised Gerdine Lindhout, Fifa’s head of experiential marketing and promotion. “It’s not just about football, it’s about gaming, lifestyle and amazing…

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