Just ask the team at FIFA, seemingly caught off guard by Qatar’s win in the race to host the 2022 World Cup.
This outpouring of support may be because these victories surprise most people considering Qatar’s underdog status in both tournaments. This sense of togetherness could also be attributed to Arabs’ shared love for football.
After defying all odds to win the Middle East’s first-ever World Cup, Arab countries have inspired their fans and fostered a unique sense of optimism and cohesion among supporters across the Gulf region.
Most spectators at both matches in the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar supported Saudi Arabia, which defeated Argentina—two-time World Cup champions—and Morocco, which overcame second-ranked Belgium.
With the booming win of Saudi Arabia, it has brought a sudden rise in its business world. Now, this surprise in business good depends on the circumstances. Something that can be said about the current situation in Qatar is that it has been a pleasant surprise for many Arab football fans.
Both sides still have one game remaining to play in their respective groups, and they are both still in good shape to advance to the competition’s knockout round, which would mark the first time two Arab nations had advanced that far.
The opportunity to change history has strengthened the sense of community among Doha’s Arab allies. From Spain, Mohammad al-Mansouri traveled to witness Morocco defeat Belgium 2-0.
“Most of the congratulations…” he began “…were from Saudis!” Ruwaili spoke while placing his hand on Mansouri’sMansouri’s shoulder.
“When Saudi Arabia play I am Saudi and when Morocco play, all the Arab people…” said Mansouri “…are Moroccans!”
Mansouri claimed that Morocco and Saudi Arabia felt they were competing in their own home in Qatar, which may have aided them in reaching new heights.
“Saudi Arabia played the best match in the history of the Arab world,” he made these remarks when fans mixed in stores and eateries while keeping an eye on televisions for match updates in Doha’s Souq al-Waqif market.
Although the hosts Qatar was the first to be eliminated after losing their first two games, Tunisia, the fourth Arab team, still has a chance to advance if they defeat France in their final group game on Wednesday.
Despite the odds against them, they will not be short of support at the nearly 45,000-capacity Education City stadium on the western edge of Doha. Said Saudi supporter Khaled al-Asaimi: “Soccer unites nations. All Arab and Gulf people support any (Arab) team,” This sentiment was echoed by the leaders of Qatar and Saudi Arabia at the start of the tournament.
Arab fans gathered together in Qatar during these games have been united by these surprise successes. They have developed a sense of camaraderie as they root for all Arab sides competing regardless of country or rivalry boundaries.