when does it start and which teams have qualified for Qatar?
when does it start and which teams have qualified for

when does it start and which teams have qualified for Qatar?

In late November, two foreign journalists were arrested in Qatar and held for 30 hours after being caught “trespassing” while investigating the death and abuse of workers there ahead of the World Cup.

Halvor Ekeland and Lokman Ghorbani, of Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, also had their cameras seized and footage deleted before being released and returning to Oslo the following day.

Their detention was condemned by Norway’s prime minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, who posted on Twitter: “The arrest of NRK’s journalists in Qatar is unacceptable. A free press is crucial to a functioning democracy.”

But the communications office of the Qatari government said the pair had “broken the law and had knowingly trespassed on private property”.

It added: “They were provided with all the filming permits they had requested prior to their arrival and were offered meetings with senior government and third-party officials.

“These freedoms, however, do not override the application of common law, which the crew knowingly and wilfully violated.”

Ekeland and Ghorbani were arrested for “trespassing” on private property in Doha’s industrial area, the home to many of the migrant workers building the infrastructure in Qatar that will enable it to stage the World Cup.

The mega-rich Gulf state has been repeatedly condemned over the death and abuse of such workers since it was controversially awarded the tournament almost 11 years ago.

Labour conditions on official World Cup sites are widely regarded to have been of a higher standard than on wider infrastructure projects but campaigners argue this does not absolve organisers or Fifa from responsibility for the plight of those affected.

Qatar has defended its progress in this area, including recent labour reforms, but has also cautioned that there was more work to do.

Will fans be allowed in?

England supporters travelling to the World Cup will be given the opportunity to go “glamping” in the Qatar desert during the tournament as organisers look for ways to cope with the demand for accommodation.

Qatar organisers are planning on using cruise ships for 175,000 fans to stay on “floating villages” moored to harbours, and they have stepped up their plans for camp sites as an alternative to hotels near the eight venues for the finals.

The camp sites have been likened to “glamping” rather than an expedition into the great outdoors. Facilities would include toilets, showers and dining areas created on the land on the outskirts of the five cities hosting the tournament.

It is estimated by Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy that more than one million people will head to the Middle East to watch the 64 matches, which will culminate in the December 18 final.

The English Football Association, including Southgate, have already visited the Gulf State looking at different locations for the team hotel, with the preference, according to one source, being that they stayed “out west”, away from Doha on the western side of the peninsula.

The England manager chose a rural retreat in Repino, outside St Petersburg, for the World Cup in 2018.

Security chiefs are planning to attend Arab Cup games to assess security as the final draws closer.

How can I get tickets for Qatar?

The first ticket application period, which began on 19 January 2022, has now closed. There will be two further “sales phases” – one will start after the Final Draw and the other will be for “last-minute” sales.

Some hospitality packages with group games starting at £700 per ticket have also gone on sale via Fifa and its partners.

This article is regularly updated with the latest information.

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