The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo’s 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup

The resilience planner from Meadow bank believes that the three most important things are family, football and work. And the Socceroos super fan lives by his words, having attended about 90 World Cup qualifying games since 1973, which included 47 consecutive qualifiers between 2008 and 2017.

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The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo's 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup
The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo’s 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup

“My passion for following the Socceroos started when I was a young kid in 1972 when I went with my father to see the Socceroos play Santos FC of Brazil,” Bateson told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The following year he attended Australia’s qualifying games for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany. Now, almost 50 years later, he is one of many Aussies making the pilgrimage to Doha in November to watch the Socceroos play in the group stage of the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup from November 21 to December 18.

But the World Cup has not been without its criticisms, with teams such as Germany and the Netherlands protesting about the 2022 location during qualifiers, citing human rights concerns. Qatar is also known for its strict and conservative laws, which include outlawing same-sex relationships and the consumption of alcohol – or being drunk – in public.

However, there are talks to relax alcohol consumption rules so that supporters can drink inside the stadiums. As well as the legal restrictions, available accommodation has also become a rising concern for people travelling to Qatar, something that Bateson is avoiding by staying in nearby Oman, an hour and a half flight from Doha.

Accommodation options in Doha range in price and luxury, from extravagant hotels or cabins on cruise ships to more affordable fan village cabins. But availability is the main concern, with more than a million people flooding into Doha for the World Cup.

The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo's 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup
The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo’s 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup

As for costs, group stage tickets go for anywhere between $99-$315 for those who are successful in the next round of ‘first-in-best-served’ ticket sales. Flights are likely to cost between $2000 and $3700, but steep prices can be avoided by flying on a cheaper airline with lengthy stopovers. Transport to and from the stadiums is set to be a breeze, unlike the weather which still reaches up to 30 degrees Celsius, but that will be relieved by the air-conditioned stadiums.

Public transport, including trams, public buses, shuttle buses and trains, are free for ticket holders who have a valid Hayya card, which attendees can apply for via the Qatar 2022 website. The first game of the World Cup is at Al Thumama Stadium where Senegal will take on the Netherlands, and Australia’s first game is against France on November 22, against whom they lost 2-1 in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Bateson, along with the other Australian fans, will be cheering them on from the stands as the 12th man, the one who can make a difference from the grandstand. You may be small in numbers, speaks Bateson, but they [the players] know you’re there. You try to be vocal, and you’ve got some flags and banners, and that’s important.

Single Football Fans Risk 7 Years in Prison for Having Sex at 2022 Qatar World Cup

If you’re looking to score at the 2022 World Cup, it better be on the playing pitch. According to reports, Qatar will be enforcing a sex ban ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup, meaning anyone caught having pre-marital sex could face up to seven years in prison. For Football World Cup tickets visit our site.

The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo's 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup
The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo’s 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup

The Daily Star has reported on fans with different surnames being prevented from booking and sharing the same room.

“Sex is very much off the menu unless you are coming as a husband and wife team. There definitely will be no one-night stands at this tournament.”, a police source said.

Another source added: “There will be no partying at all. Everyone needs to keep their heads about them unless they want to risk ­being stuck in prison. There is essentially a sex ban in place at this year’s World Cup for the first time. Fans need to be prepared. With very strict and scary consequences if you are caught. There is a feeling this could be a very bad tournament ­indeed for fans.”

The peninsular Arab country prohibits anyone from having sex outside of marriage, and World Cup travellers must follow the same rules. Fans who plan on bar hopping their way to matches will also be disappointed, as Qatar has a strict no drinking in public law and prohibits anyone from being publicly intoxicated. However, certain hotels and venues do serve alcohol on the premises. Other crimes include displays of public affection and wearing excessively revealing clothing.

The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo's 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup
The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo’s 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup

FIFA has stated that “all are welcome” at the upcoming tournament; however, there has been a growing concern surrounding the strict regulations. Nasser al-Khater, the chief executive of the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar, commented, “The safety and security of every fan are of the utmost importance to us.”

Air Arabia launches 14 daily shuttle flights for Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022

Ticket holders of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 can now book one of the daily Air Arabia shuttles from Sharjah to Doha, with flights taking off and returning on the same day starting November 21.

The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo's 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup
The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo’s 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup

The low-cost carrier, which already operates three daily scheduled flights from Sharjah International Airport to Hamad International Airport in Doha, has launched 14 additional trips so football fans can fly in and watch lives games and return soon after. Only fans with tickets are eligible to board the shuttle flights, with each passenger entitled to 10 kilograms of hand baggage.

Ticket holders must register for a Hayya card through the official website to be able to enter Qatar, access the stadiums, as well as get free transportation to and from the stadiums using the Doha Metro directly from Hamad International Airport. All travellers must plan their trips carefully, arriving in Doha at least four hours before a match and departing four hours after, Air Arabia said.

“The shuttle flights will provide fans with easy, reliable and timely access in and out of Doha to enjoy the matches and return right after,” said Adel Al Ali, group chief executive officer of Air Arabia.

Flydubai also announced match day flights in May, which would allow ticket holders to easily travel between Dubai and Doha. The airline is operating up to 30 return flights per day during the event. Last week, Qatar Airways said it will restructure its flight schedule temporarily to handle a surge in passenger traffic expected during the World Cup.

The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo's 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup
The players know you’re there: Being the Socceroo’s 12th man heading to Qatar Football World Cup

“We have to withdraw from many destinations to relieve capacity and make room for other airlines also to come to Doha and utilize the slots, which otherwise would be nearly impossible to sustain, and this would happen during just the 30 days,” group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said.

The Air Arabia shuttle flights to Doha will operate until December 18, the last day of the World Cup.

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