The first images of the fan villages in Qatar show rows of tables under blue and white sun umbrellas. There are also cafe bars so supporters can enjoy a drink outdoors
Despite our 4-0 defeat to Hungary on Tuesday night, an army of 10,000 England fans is expected to cheer on Gareth Southgate’s side this winter.
Wales may receive 2,300 tickets for each of their three group games, including their Nov 29 showdown with England.
Some fan village flats are still available from the Qatar Accommodation Agency. Organisers also released an impressive catalogue of images from luxury hotels, cruise ships, and ‘glamping’.
They promise prices to suit all budgets, from £33-a-night ($40) based on two sharing a room, to £3,433-a-night for suites in opulent resorts.
The first images of the villages show rows of tables under blue and white sun umbrellas. There are also cafe bars so supporters can enjoy a drink outdoors.
The Gulf state’s strict rules on the sale of alcohol are expected to be relaxed for the duration of the tournament.
But fans will need a match ticket before they travel, with 1.5m expected to descend on a country which is the size of Yorkshire.
A Fifa spokesman said: “This is a peak time for fans planning their Qatar 2022 stay.
“The second round of Random Selection Draw tickets have been allocated. New fans completed their ticket payment today – and will book their accommodation soon.”
Alcohol is not illegal in Qatar, but drinking in public is a crime. Only licensed hotels, restaurants and bars are allowed to sell alcohol.
Gareth Southgate’s squad is due to stay at the five-star Souq Al Wakra beach resort. Built in 2015 especially for the World Cup, it is a dry hotel that only serves non-alcoholic drinks.
But their wives and girlfriends will take advantage of the ‘party’ planned for the tournament, with a music festival.
The emir is keen to showcase the Gulf state and offer a warm welcome to visitors from across the globe.
Organisers have been in talks with Abba, Andrea Bocelli, Lady Gaga and Aerosmith to perform in a concert.
The artists are all signed to Universal, a Fifa partner. A new port will be home to two cruise ships with ‘4,000 berths’.
Fan zones will serve beer for £5 and wine at £6 a glass, with a wide variety of hotels, apartments and Airbnb on offer.
The £26bn, 100 station rapid transport Metro system will mean supporters will never be further than half an hour from venues which will be no more than 40 miles apart.
Qatari forces have been trained by the FBI, Greater Manchester Police, the Canadian Police College and the French gendarmerie nationale to ensure a secure environment for the finals, which begin on Nov. 21, 2022.
Qatar, with a population of less than 2.5m, has plans to keep crowds spread out around the capital.
The cruise liners will act as floating hotels during the tournament and will be berthed at Doha Port, giving fans a spectacular view of the West Bay skyline.
Qatar is dry to Muslims but non-Muslims can buy alcohol in bars and hotels. Football fans will be safest if they stay in designated zones.
Action Images via Reuters)
Technically, no one under 21 is allowed to buy or drink alcohol but it is not clear whether this will be enforced for the World Cup.
It is likely that the authorities will make swift arrests if there is any violence. The authorities are likely to turn a blind eye to gay couples sharing hotel rooms, as is the case for unmarried heterosexual couples.
More than 1.2m tickets were requested by fans worldwide in the first 24 hours of the initial sales period.
The highest demand came from fans from Qatar, followed by Argentina, Mexico, USA, United Arab Emirates, England, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and France.
Lucky ticket holders will be issued with an official FIFA ID and a Hayya Card. It provides a visa to enter Qatar and venues. The card also gives you free access to public transport on match days.
A Qatar Tourism spokesman said: “A decision has been taken that only fans with match tickets will be allowed visas.
“They will need official fan IDs to get into Qatar and those who do not have them will not be allowed to travel.”