Wales fans pay $146 for 5 drinks
Imagine if a bar in Australia was charging $146 for five bottles of beer and two cold mini-burgers.
And what if I said there were only two toilets for 1600 people, with huge line ups. And they ran out of beer within a couple of hours.
Doesn’t sound fun right?
There would be outrage, people would flood social media with complaints and the bar would be forced to apologise.
Welcome to Qatar 2022, where you can find a traditional World Cup experience, but it comes at a cost.
Beers – and how to get one – has been a big topic this World Cup. Just days before the tournament began, Qatar backflipped and banned beer from the stadiums.
It’s for sale at the fan festival, but only after 6.30pm. It means fans have to look to Doha’s limited licenced bars to quench their thirst.
Not that these Welsh fans minded paying this much, as they celebrated the nation’s first appearance at the World Cup in 64 years. Rather than complain, they drank the bar dry within a few hours.
The fans paid 79 pounds — about $146 — to get into a downtown Intercontinental in Doha, with five drinks and some food included.
That works out to be about $29 per a bottle of beer.
The eight-hour party at the luxury hotel was organised by a Welsh supporters’ group, with fans taking over six bars in the hotel.
Even when these mini-burgers were served up, it didn’t mean to dampen spirits.
A tasty burger.Source: SuppliedThe two mini-burgers and wedges.Source: Supplied
To be fair, fans could use a drink voucher for the burgers to just have another drink. Many went with the second option.
One Welsh fan said the cover price was worth it just to have a spot secured to celebrate with other fans.
“It is what it is really,” Ieuan said. “We’d rather pay this than walk around struggling to find somewhere to have a drink.
“We’re staying on a cruise ship where the drinks are about the same price, so it’s just nice to get off that today.”
The line-up to get in started at 1.30pm on Monday, meaning fans had plenty of time to fill before the Wales game against the United States at 10pm that night.
The line-up to get into the luxury hotel.Source: Supplied
When the England-Iran game started at 4pm, a chorus of boos met God Save the King before a chant of “England is full of s**t”.
Interest in the England game seemed to wane among the Welsh fans as the Three Lions raced away with a 6-2 victory.
But Iran scoring a late consolation goal did receive a big cheer.
For the record the Wales-United States game ended 1-1, with a late Gareth Bale goal saving Wales from a nightmare start.
Wales play Iran up next and need to win to keep their World Cup dreams alive. Then Wales and England face each other in the final group game.
About 3000 Wales fans are in Qatar for the World Cup, with the flight just six hours compared to the 14-hour journey Australians have made.
British police officers are also in Qatar to act as “morality police” to prevent any issues with England and Wales fans with local police.
Some of these officers were on hand at the Intercontinental, but were more on hand to answer any concerns from the Welsh fans.
A lot has been written about the fan experience in Qatar, but if you didn’t know how much these fans were paying it could have easily been a scene from any other previous World Cup.