The saying that “seeing is believing” could never be more appropriate in my coverage of this FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. It is always an unquantifiable pleasure to gain entry into the host nation of an event as widely accepted as the World Cup.
Being on ground gives one an on-the-spot account of news and trending topics which had dominated the airwaves across the globe especially in my own case when I was back home for the first ten days or thereabouts of the competition.
Although a couple of friends and colleagues who were already in Qatar had told me many of the reports circulating round the globe were either exaggerated, unfounded or maliciously fabricated by the “Western Media” in their usual manner.
I had my minimum expectations when I came into Doha, knowing fully well I was coming into an Arab nation; afterall I’ve been to Morocco and Egypt so I should have a little idea on how it could be and adding all the stories in the Media to it.
A couple of months ago, a senior colleague told me he had no interest in traveling to Qatar anymore after all he had been reading especially the idea that you cannot have sex (wonder how Qataris have been giving birth) and there’d be no public show of affection.
My surprise then when I got here only to see people moving in twos (male and female he created them). In one of the accredited accommodations where I currently reside in: Barwa Barahat Al Janoub Complex, it is as cosmopolitan as you can have.
All the talks of restriction in drinking and behavioural patterns seem wide off the mark. Yes, perhaps beers are not allowed inside the stadium but they are everywhere up to the stadium gates. I’ve seen couples oppressing us with ‘touching-touching’ inside Metro trains with nobody disturbing them.
You can listen to our Podcast where Nigerian journalists currently in Qatar dismissed many of those exaggerated talks by clicking here.
Of course there are instances when you just have to mind your business but in a broader sense, life here is just normal like in many other places. The media is indeed a powerful tool which when manipulated can sell the wrong messages.
Life and tournament coverage is going on fine (to a large extent) with me and I’ll be touching the aspect of feeding and my encounter with an Argentine babe 😢 in subsequent diary notes. Till then, let’s keep enjoying the World Cup.