Host country Qatar has been accused of paying actors to portray fans ahead of the World Cup, days before the tournament kicks off. Several videos have been released of supporters lining the streets of Doha, but there have been questions regarding the legitimacy of those in the clips.
Videos have been posted on TikTok of England, Brazil and Portugal fans among several other nations at the tournament, though the comments have been filled with fears that Qatar has paid actors to play the role of fans at the tournament in order to promote the country. Both the videos of England and Brazil fans have had over a million views, while the clip of allegedly Brazilians dancing and partying in Doha has been seen over four million times.
However the comments tell a different story to the message that the videos are attempting to convey. “Paid actors!” one TikTok user wrote on the clip of England fans in Qatar a week ahead of the tournament. “These have to be paid by Qatar there’s no way,” another said.
One fan accused QatarLiving, the account that posted the videos, of using the same fans in separate videos in an attempt to con social media users. “Saw them all dressed as Brazil fans yesterday,” one fan said. “I swear they’re paying the workers to be fans at this point I’ve seen them supporting like 7 different countries,” another wrote.”
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QatarLiving, dubbed the country’s first community platform, has also posted several of the videos on their Instagram page to nearly 400,000 followers, though there has been no mention of the fans on their Twitter account or website.
The World Cup being held in Qatar has been a controversial issue due to the nation’s human rights issues, treatment of migrant workers and criminalisation of homosexuality after they were accused of bribing FIFA officials to be awarded the tournament. Former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter has recently admitted that awarding the World Cup to Qatar over the USA was a “mistake” though he only highlighted the logistical issues, rather than the concerns over the moral decision to host a World Cup in Qatar.