Mexico is planning to make the experience a lot more enjoyable for fans who will be visiting Qatar to watch the country’s national team, El Tri, compete in the 2022 FIFA World Cup later this year.
Mexico qualified for their 17th Mundial as one of the CONCACAF representatives at the global showpiece. The hosts of the 1970 and 1986 World Cup are also in their eighth consecutive tournament as one of only six countries to do so.
They have never won the tournament but their history in it is as solid as Brazil’s, who have won the golden trophy the most. This tournament will also see them rekindle another rivalry of theirs on the international scene against Argentina and a lot of fans will be travelling to witness the event.
An estimated 80,000 fans will be travelling from Mexico to Qatar and to help them feel at home for the duration of their stay, the Mexican government plans to establish a special fan centre that will accommodate the travelling support of El Tri.
This is according to Alfonso Zegbe, Executive Director of Public Diplomacy, Mexico Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Coordinator-General of the Mexican Strategy for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Zegbe was speaking at the just-concluded Qatar 2022 Security Last-Mile Conference when he made these revelations. Zegbe noted, however, that visiting Mexican fans will have to register on an app that the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs is developing.
“We are yet to determine the number of fans attending, but we expect between 40,000 to 80,000,” Zegbe began. “We will build a special centre of attention for Mexicans, those from Mexico and those from the US or with dual nationality.
“We will bring different components the Mexican government can offer here like information, consular protection, consular paperwork and assistance, medical services, police and media. We will also grant them safety nets and ensure fans behave according to the legal framework and the local traditions.”
Zegbe also disclosed that Mexico is already holding orientation sessions in the country to educate the travelling fans on what to expect in Qatar. “We are holding sessions with our fans, even those who aren’t attending the World Cup,” he added. “We want them to know where Qatar is, the tradition, and the Middle East. This is a historic World Cup; it’s the first time an event of this dimension is organised in the Middle East.”
Mexico have been drawn into Group C with Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Poland. They will be looking to extend their record as the only team to make it out of the group stages in the past eight World Cups and will be hoping to ride their luck all the way to the finals this time around.