Lionel Messi’s Argentina enters the FIFA World Cup this Tuesday, November 22. Its adversary, Saudi Arabia, pales in comparison. The Gulf monarchy is a modest football nation, but a great power in its region. And his presence at the Qatari World Cup is closely observed. A few years ago, Saudi Arabia triggered a crisis by imposing a brutal blockade on its neighbor.
With our special envoy in Doha, Hugo Moissonnier
In the streets of Doha, Saudi fans are calmer than those of other Arab teams. But make no mistake. Green Falcons fans are delighted to commune with their brothers from Morocco, Tunisia and those from brash Qatar, a neighbor small in size but boundless in ambition: Thank you Qatar! It’s a challenge to host a World Cup but we can see that everything is going well, exclaims a supporter. Besides, it’s not far from my house so I’m very happy to be there! »
I am proud in this World Cup in the Arab world! Qataris are my brothers, we are together! There are government affairs and there are people, who have no problems with each other.
The rulers also display their friendship
Last Sunday, during the opening ceremony of the World Cup, Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman took his place alongside the Emir of Qatar.
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Dafrallah Mouadhen, a journalist based in Qatar, explains that Saudi Arabia wanted this World Cup to be shared between Arabia and the Emirates: “ But Qatar took the cake. There was a certain jealousy, continues the correspondent of the team and France Football in the Gulf. But today, Qatar is reconciled with its neighbors, which can be described as a honeymoon. »
But Mohammed ben Salman may still dream of a World Cup in his country. Two months ago, the Times revealed a joint candidacy project with Egypt and Greece for the 2030 edition: ” It’s a project, but the Middle East had its chance. We will see in 25 or 30 years “, concludes Dafrallah Mouadhen.
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