The FIFA World Cup 2022 is scheduled to begin on 20 November 2022 in Qatar and the host nation has been accused of allegedly hiring paid ‘fake’ Indian football fans to stage a parade.
It was reported that these ‘fake’ fans, mostly from Kerala, in India, were also used to welcome the England team.
Sean Ingle, the Chief sports reporter and columnist at the Guardian, tweeted: “Spoke to a few of them, and they insist they are not fake fans.”
In the parade that passed through the streets of Doha, all participating countries were represented by fans. However, netizens were quick to point out that most fans representing these nations didn’t seem like they belonged to those regions.
Spanish news outlet El Mundo.es claimed that the fans were fake. It further alleged that some fans were seen representing multiple participating teams.
Meanwhile, the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee has rejected the accusations that fans used in the parade were ‘fake’ paid football fans.
In a statement the Committee said:
“Numerous journalists and commentators on social media have questioned whether these are ‘real’ fans. We thoroughly reject these assertions, which are both disappointing and unsurprising.”
Qatar is already embroiled in controversy regarding the way it was selected as host and the subsequent human rights issues with immigrant workers employed to build stadiums for the FIFA World Cup 2022.