India’s Three Lions fans outnumbered the home breeds almost 10 to one and expressed their displeasure at being labeled “fake” when they entered England’s World Cup base in Qatar on Tuesday. As the England team bus stopped at their hotel in the dark, drums were played and Indian fans proudly dressed in England shirts and carrying English flags blared horns. Around 20 English fans were in attendance, along with around 200 from the Indian state of Kerala.
fans waiting harry kane And their companions also included families from Bangladesh, two young women from China and a Thai man.
There was a brief scare as the temporary barrier stopping the crowd collapsed. No one was reported to be injured.
The talks by supporters waiting were dominated by reports from the British and French media that they were “fake fans”.
“It’s humiliating, very frustrating,” said Amin Sharq, an Indian resident of Doha who works as an accountant.
The 29-year-old Sajid said Indian football fans in Qatar were “outraged” by reports that thousands had paid to wear World Cup nations’ shirts during last Friday’s Doha beach march.
Sajid said, “This is completely fake news and I want to say emphatically and clearly that none of us has been paid.”
“We are die-hard fans of England. My favorite player since childhood has been David Beckham, we have Wayne Rooney fans, we’ve got Michael Owen fans.”
The Doha march was dominated by India supporters wearing Argentina and Brazil shirts ahead of England.
Participating fans said it was organized on social media groups and WhatsApp messages.
Another fan Anas said, ‘This has hurt us a lot. People don’t even know how much enthusiasm is there for football in Kerala.
In the last World Cup, a 25-metre (80 ft) effigy of Kane was installed in a town in Kerala.
Anas said, “We watch the Premier League every weekend. We come from India, but they haven’t qualified, so people choose the team they want to support.”
The small English contingent was represented by the likes of Allen Hindmarsh, a construction engineer who has been living in Doha for eight years. He is confident that his country will win the World Cup.
Hindmarsh also said that thousands of foreign fans coming to Qatar, which has been criticized for its rights record, would be surprised by what they would find.
“There has been a lot of negative perception about Qatar, but when fans come here and see what the reality is on the ground, the facilities and the reception from the Qataris, it will be absolutely fantastic,” he added.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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