It seems that there are several last minute changes that have been causing controversies in the days leading up to the opening ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. The latest story making the rounds claims that organisers have decided to stop paying cash allowances to fans that are being paid to attend and promote the event.
It was previously revealed that Qatari authorities have launched a “paid-for supporters programme,” which has been criticised all over social networks. Details of the scheme have been made known to the public, and many have been criticising the host nation’s efforts to pay fans to make the event look (more) positive and enjoyable.
The scheme is reportedly spearheaded by Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, and has been dubbed the “Fan Leader Network.”
The agency has apparently reached out to fans from all over the globe, offering perks such as plane tickets and accommodations for a minimum two-week stay in Qatar during the World Cup. These “paid” fans will receive tickets to the opening ceremony and are also expected to attend designated fan events during the tournament.
These fans were also promised a daily allowance to cover their “refreshments” during their stay. However, following some bad press after news of the paid fans came out, The Guardian reports that the organisers have rescinded the per diem offer from the deal.
The fans were originally expected to post positive content on social media and actively like, share and comment on posts that show the event in a good light. However, the mere fact that they are being paid has cast a shadow on the entire scheme.
Members of the Fan Leader Network spoke to The Guardian and shared the messages sent to them just days before the opening ceremony. “Due to the recent developments in the media, we are keen to protect our visiting fans from the erroneous misinformed statements regarding ‘fans receiving payment for the trip’. Accordingly, the daily allowance will unfortunately no longer be issued. The allowance was intended as a small uplift on your own personal funds to assist with refreshments during your stay.”
Those who received free plane tickets and accommodations are still planning on pushing through with their trip, but they admitted that losing the daily allowance will make the experience significantly tougher. Food and beverage prices are expected to be very high for the duration of the event, meaning fans will now need to bring a significant amount of their own pocket money.
“We requested from the outset that you brought sufficient funds to cover your own living expenses and we have committed to cover flights, accommodation and opening match tickets,” read an email from the organisers, as seen by the publication.
The move comes just as Qatar also decided to ban beer sales in eight World Cup venues, causing outrage from visiting supporters.