AVN 68.48 Increased By ▲ 1.38 (2.06%)
BAFL 31.00 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
BOP 4.91 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.2%)
CNERGY 3.75 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.79%)
DFML 14.23 Decreased By ▼ -0.20 (-1.39%)
DGKC 41.64 Decreased By ▼ -0.21 (-0.5%)
EPCL 45.37 Decreased By ▼ -1.20 (-2.58%)
FCCL 11.71 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.17%)
FFL 5.10 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.59%)
FLYNG 5.85 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.86%)
GGL 10.41 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.1%)
HUBC 68.50 Increased By ▲ 0.50 (0.74%)
HUMNL 5.75 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.17%)
KAPCO 28.22 Increased By ▲ 0.12 (0.43%)
KEL 2.26 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-1.31%)
LOTCHEM 25.10 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.2%)
MLCF 21.58 Decreased By ▼ -0.11 (-0.51%)
NETSOL 88.35 Increased By ▲ 2.35 (2.73%)
OGDC 99.30 Increased By ▲ 6.92 (7.49%)
PAEL 11.11 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.18%)
PIBTL 4.23 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.24%)
PPL 82.45 Increased By ▲ 2.30 (2.87%)
PRL 13.34 Decreased By ▼ -0.30 (-2.2%)
SILK 0.90 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
SNGP 44.38 Increased By ▲ 0.91 (2.09%)
TELE 6.18 Increased By ▲ 0.22 (3.69%)
TPLP 15.81 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (0.51%)
TRG 119.75 Increased By ▲ 4.74 (4.12%)
UNITY 14.10 Increased By ▲ 0.25 (1.81%)
WTL 1.26 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (8.62%)
BR100 4,171 Increased By 47 (1.14%)
BR30 15,253 Increased By 323.5 (2.17%)
KSE100 41,523 Increased By 332 (0.81%)
KSE30 15,663 Increased By 168.9 (1.09%)
Follow us

DOHA: Shafeeq Saqafi paid three dollars for the Argentina shirt he proudly wore when sat with 15,000 other migrant workers in a hidden corner of Doha to watch Lionel Messi's side salvage their World Cup.

Messi's goal in the 2-0 win over Mexico brought the biggest crowd seen at the Asian Town stadium to their feet and Saqafi beat his chest in delight.

Saqafi and his friends bristle at European media suggestions that they are "fake fans" but readily acknowledge that they buy counterfeit team shirts for $3 or less, instead of the $90 cost of official kit.

"I could not afford to have the letters printed on the back, but the shirt was something I really wanted," said the 32-year-old hotel worker who earns just over $400 a month and sends more than half of that back to his family in Bangladesh.

Saqafi is one of the 2.5 million foreign workers who have been the foundation of Qatar's economic miracle -- helping pump oil and gas, building its World Cup stadiums and infrastructure and staffing the dozens of new hotels that have opened in the past five years.

Rights groups say the workers have been massively abused.

Qatar points out in reply to increased safety standards and salary protections in factories and at outdoor work sites, and reduced working hours in Qatar's notoriously hot summer.

The stadium, in the Asian Town shopping complex on the outskirts of Doha, has become a daily draw for thousands of the poorest workers who live in nearby dormitories away from Doha's glitzy shopping malls and restaurants.

Messi magic reignites Argentina, France into World Cup last 16

A woman DJ entertains the overwhelmingly male and South Asian crowd before each match with Hindi pop songs and Bollywood videos.

For most, the fan zone on the cricket pitch is the nearest they will get to the World Cup. The legal minimum wage is 1,000 riyal ($100) and there are still many earning that.

A few thousand 40 riyal ($10) World Cup tickets were put on sale and quickly snapped up.

Buying an official team shirt is also out of the question. So Saqafi and many of his friends bought one of the high quality fakes on sale in backstreet stores.

Yaseen Gul, who has worked for a Doha electrical firm for a decade, said he comes to the stadium "to enjoy myself -- cheaply."

"Qatar is very hard, the work is hard," he said. "But my salary has improved and I will not go home."

Shaqeel Mahmoud said he could not afford to buy match tickets and he had to leave the Argentina game before the end because he had to go work.

A cup of tea at the stadium beverage stand costs one dollar, but many fans said this was also too much.

"There is no pressure to buy anything so I am grateful for that," said Bangadeshi Shaqeel.

Comments

Comments are closed.

Qatar's migrant workers enjoy World Cup on the cheap

Rupee falls 0.35%, settles at 276.28 against US dollar

PM Shehbaz orders establishment of relief fund to aid Turkiye

Earthquake rescue work moves slowly in Turkiye, Syria as death toll passes 5,000

Intra-day update: KSE-100 Index up over 500 points

Debt reprofiling viable option for Pakistan under IMF watch: report

Islamabad court rejects Sheikh Rashid’s bail petition

IMF should work with Pakistan to protect the deprived: Human Rights Watch

Toshakhana case: Islamabad court defers Imran Khan's indictment

High-income earners directed to pay 50pc of super tax liability

Policy-level talks with IMF begin today