The Qatar World Cup is just around the corner, it is expected that just over 70 thousand Mexicans will travel to the first Arab country that will host the highest FIFA event. For a couple of years, the Mexican embassy in Qatari territory has been preparing for that moment, for which the main message is that of respect for a culture very different from that of our country.
Graciela Gómez, ambassador of Mexico in Qatar, who along with her work team has been in connection with the Mexican Soccer Federation, fan groups, and official agencies to prepare for an event that she knows will place them in the eyes of the world.
“It will be a unique experience because this is a destination rarely visited by Mexicans and my basic recommendation is that we come with eyes of curiosity, but also with eyes of respect, to understand that here there are uses and customs that are far different from the ones in our country “, stated the ambassador.
Although she understands that Mexicans have been classified as the main “cheerleaders in the World Cups”, she is also aware that there have been incidents totally unacceptable in other World Cups where Mexico’s National Team followers committed stupid actions, such as when a Mexican supporter extinguished the Eternal Flame in France 1998 (by pissing on it), or when in South Africa 2010 a charro hat was attached to a statue of Nelson Mandela.
“I know that one thing that characterizes Mexicans is our sense of humor, but here it is not funny if a lack of respect is committed” …, the ambassador points out sharply. “In the Muslim world, we are going to have many religious symbols or cultural references and values in the environment. Simply common sense and they must be respected.s
With the experience she has accumulated due to her diplomatic work, Ambassador Gomez shares that in Qatar they are very clear that for a period of one month, or maybe six weeks, they will double their population, “they are aware that the eyes of the world will be here and in addition to the attractions that already exist, the Qatari government is organizing concerts and shows in different stages, gastronomy exhibitions and complements, to make sure the fans will have a pleasant experience when they are not in the stadiums. It is a community that has a certain openness to the outside world, but at the same time is very proud of its religion and its Muslim identity. “
Gómez has been a participant in the different football events, among others, that have taken place in Qatar on the eve of the World Cup. She was present in the last two editions of the Club World Cup that were played in that country, in which Monterrey (2019) and Tigres (2020) participated, although what he hopes is that “very soon the National Team will be properly classified to receive them. It has made us suffer, it has given us great joys, but what would this be without the suspense. I am confident that we will not even go to the playoffs and that we will have an outstanding performance. “
Important facts to take into consideration if visiting Qatar
- Alcohol consumption: There are specific places where it can be done (hotel bars). During the – World Cup, spaces will be allocated in the stadiums and the Fan Fest.
– Dress code: Although it is not mandatory, it is requested to cover shoulders and knees.
– Take photographs or videos: It is not allowed to photograph or film government or religious spaces.
– Shows of affection: They are not allowed in public, regardless of sexual orientation, it is requested to respect this rule.