England Euro 2020 hooliganism mocked by Qatar media in response to World Cup critics

Qatar media have used violence at the Euro 2020 final to poke fun at critics in England who attacked the choice of the tiny Gulf state to host next year’s World Cup.

England fans outside Wembley ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 final against Italy, which was marred by violent scenes inside and outside the ground.
England fans outside Wembley ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 final against Italy, which was marred by violent scenes inside and outside the ground.

Trouble flared at Wembley on Sunday when thousands of ticketless fans managed to force their way into stadium and clash with stewards and other supporters ahead of the match.

It’s feared the mayhem may have dented England chances of hosting the 2030 tournament with Ireland and the event is now favourite to go to Spain and Portugal.

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The Qatar press used the rioting to lampoon the English media which has been a long standing critic of FIFA for its 2010 choice of Doha as tournament hosts.

The decision to move the tournament from summer to winter to avoid the searing summer heat in the Gulf was particularly unpopular because it will upset the Premier League schedule.

One cartoon in a Qatari daily newspaper showed the English media wagging its finger saying: ‘Qatar is not capable of organising the World Cup’ – with two English hooligans attacking each other in the background.

The Arab state’s lack of widespread alcohol availability has also been singled out by critics in England for spoiling the fans’ experience. Instead fans will have to meet for a beer in specially-designated drinking zones.

A tweet from the country’s Alkass Sports channel showed drunken fans running amok in London before Sunday’s final in which England lost to Italy on penalties.

Trouble flared in Trafalgar Square where fans disappointed with the result began smashing bottles and overturning bins.

Kieran Cunningham, the chief sports writer of the Irish Daily Star, said on Twitter: “Not a hope 2030 World Cup bid has a chance now. Ireland shouldn’t waste a cent on it”.

Mike Keegan, sports reporter of the Daily Mail said:”That’s the worst experience I’ve ever had as a fan at a football match.

“Shambolic organisation, police nowhere to be seen, fans without tickets running amok within what was a giant Covid breeding ground. Taken 3.5 hours to get out of the godforsaken place. Saw fights, bottles, thrown, people karate kicking windows and (a new one for me) had to jump out of the way of an armed officer with his gun drawn chasing someone”.

Afterwards Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted the UK still had a “very good case” to host the 2030 World Cup despite the violence that marred the Euro final.

Football Association boss Mark Bullingham also said he had received positive feedback from UEFA with England’s hosting of Euro 2020 matches largely being trouble-free.

He said: “We’ve had eight games at Wembley which by and large have gone very, very well.

“Of course things on Sunday night were upsetting, but overall in terms of the tournament things have been a success.”

Last week Qatar celebrated 500 days until the tournament kicks off in November next year.

The Doha authorities have been criticised by human rights groups who say thousands of migrant workers have died building stadiums. Qatar denies the allegations and puts the fatalities at 38.

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