Organizers have sought to downplay the significance of a canceled World Cup party for Wales fans ahead of their Group B clash with Iran.
Fan charity Gol Cymru were looking to build on the success of their parties held either side of Wales’ World Cup opener against the United States with a second round tie. events for Friday’s game.
However, they informed ticket holders that a “last minute” ‘imposed’ change following talks with Qatari authorities meant they could ‘no longer serve alcohol until Friday midday’.
Wales v Iran will kick off at 1:00 p.m. Qatar time, 10:00 a.m. UK time at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.
Gol Cymru’s email read: ‘The hotel had discussions with the Qatari authorities overnight and unfortunately, as is the case with Qatar, a change has been imposed and we can no longer serve as a hotel. before noon on Friday.
“Therefore, we had to make the decision to cancel the pre-match event and offer you two options.”
These include attending a post-match party on Friday or a pre-match party on November 29 before the final Group B match with England, both also at the InterContinental Doha Hotel , in the West Bay neighborhood of the city.
The Football Fans’ Association of Wales supporters’ embassy later noted that Friday was a holy day and that “no alcohol before noon” is permitted.
Event host Rhodri Williams said they had always considered the no-alcohol rules before noon, adding he believed there had been a ‘misunderstanding’ in the update to fans regarding the cancellation.
Mr Williams told the PA news agency: “We’re following the law here, I’m not upset, I’ll be honest with you, no one has contacted me to say ‘God, I’m really disappointed’.
“The answer is positive and common sense.”
He added: “I think there’s been a bit of misunderstanding, a bit of misunderstanding, and it’s as simple as that.
“Let’s keep having fun at the World Cup and hope Wales come out of the group with England and then we’ll all be happy.”
Mr Williams said there were not many pre-match bookings, citing the need for fans to get to the stadium in time for kick-off.
He said of the events: “It’s a wonderful, wonderful atmosphere. I just want to say thank you to the fans of Wales for their understanding and support without any problems.
Mr Williams added: “Fridays, can you have a drink after 12 noon? Yes you can. How much? Charges. You can have the time of your life on a Friday – just wait until 12 noon. That’s is all.”
The sale of alcohol to fans at World Cup stadiums in Qatar was banned two days before the tournament kicked off, with the exception of corporate spectators.
The UK Foreign Office said it was an offense to drink alcohol or be intoxicated in public, with alcohol available in designated places, including hotels.
Paul Corkrey, of the Football Fans’ Association of Wales (FSA), said the tailgate party was a “perfect place” for people to gather ahead of the 1-1 draw with the United States on Monday and that fans were “pretty sane” to travel to The Game.
He said it was “disappointing” to hear the changes imposed on Friday’s pre-match event.
Elsewhere, the Football Association of Wales said Fifa had confirmed fans will be able to wear Rainbow Wall bucket hats and rainbow flags inside the stadium on Friday after those items were confiscated on Monday.
In a statement, they said: “In response to FAW, Fifa has confirmed that fans wearing Rainbow Wall bucket hats and rainbow flags will be permitted to enter the stadium for Cymru’s game against Cyprus. Iran on Friday.
“All World Cup venues have been contacted and asked to follow agreed rules and regulations.
“FAW urges Fifa to adhere to its message that everyone is welcome in Qatar during the World Cup and to continue to highlight any other human rights issues.
“We remain convinced that football is for everyone.”
England fans have also urged Fifa to prevent ticketing problems from happening again, which meant some games were missed in the Three Lions’ 6-2 win over Iran.
Some fans were frantically updating the official ticketing mobile app on their phones in a bid to load their QR code minutes before kick-off.
Ashley Brown of the FSA Fans’ Embassy said: “This issue is well documented and Fifa simply needs to address it.”
He added: “We advise all supporters to arrive early in case of any future problems.”
A Fifa spokesperson said: “The Fifa service provider is working to resolve the issue some spectators are experiencing with the Fifa ticketing app as soon as possible, with alternative solutions provided in between- times that allow all ticket holders access to the stadium.”