news Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute| December 18, 2014| 3.53 pm IST

A popular sports friendly nation like India has never had problems filling stadiums, but the same can’t be said about stadiums in Qatar, according to a report on Livemint.

The report gives a detailed account of migrant workers disguised as ‘pretend sports fans’ who are then herded in to buses only to be paid a few dollars at the end.

According to the report Qatar had pitched a successful presentation in November this year to the track and field’s governing body (FIFA) to host the world championships in 2019. The report also quoted the Qatar’s bid presenter Aphrodite Moschoudi who said: “Qatar has a true passion for sports. Everything in our country revolves around sport.”

Migrants workers are paid around thirty Qatar riyals which is approximately Rs. 500 to fill sports arenas, said the report. The workers who come from Africa and Asia are herded in buses like cattle only to be taken to venues where they will be made to sit through volleyball, handball and football matches. At these matches they are expected to applaud, do the Mexican wave, and even dress up in the traditional Qatari white robes and headscarves only to resemble a huge turnout for a match, according to the report.

The report which includes a report from Associated Press confirmed that these were paid spectators when a few migrants from Ghana, Kenya, Nepal and elsewhere, who work in Qatar as bus and taxi drivers for the state-owned transport company and for other employers, told them that they were there for money and not volleyball.

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