At the time of scripting this paper, there are 4 days left earlier than the beginning of the twenty second version of the Football World Cup. In 4 days, the eyes of the entire world might be on the emirate of Qatarhost nation of a contest lengthy decried due to severe issues of human rights and socio-economic facets, amongst others.
Football and racing, jewels of the Qataris
Football would be the predominant attraction in this 11,586 km2 emirate, nevertheless the racing calendar is just not affected. Because sure, races have an essential place for Qataris. The proof is: no sporting competitors will happen in the course of the World Cup apart from horse racing, this system of which has not been modified. “It shows that there is interest in the races, a priori. And then, for the tourists and the foreign supporters who will come, it’s an additional activity to discover.” highlighted Ronan Thomas. The races have a particular place, an encouragement for the sector in line with Soufiane Saadi. “Of course, this is a strong signal for the races. Qataris are really passionate about racing and breeding. The fact that our activity is continuing during the planetary event is really very good.”
The World Cup will subsequently not, at first sight, be dangerous to the races in line with the athletes themselves.
Ronan Thomas and Equinoxe in Doha in December 2020.
“We will closely follow the course of the Blues”
In Qatar, the racing season begins in October and ends in April. We are subsequently on the very coronary heart of the horse racing effervescence. With a rhythm of two conferences per week (Wednesday and Thursday, besides for big conferences usually on Saturday), French jockeys will be capable of discover time to observe the matches of theFrench crew, and even to attend. “My team, Whatnan Racing, gave me the gift of tickets to see two matches of the French team. Against Australia and Denmark. It’s great to be able to go and encourage the Blues so far from the country. adds Ronan Thomas.
Same thing for Soufiane Saadi and Hugo Besnierwho will go to the stadiums for the first two group matches of the men of Didier Deschamps. “We are there, might as well go there!” exclaims Hugo Besnier.
Unfortunately, the match towards Tunisia will happen throughout a race assembly. Not an issue for the tricolors of Doha who ought to handle to see, collectively, the second half. “We will probably arrive for the second period. We may organize something all together to live this moment.” Explain Soufiane Saadi.
“The Doha Strip” if we are able to name them that, will subsequently be the vanguard of all supporters of the‘French crew. From one sport to a different, there is just one step. The french crew might be helped in the stands or on TV, by the opposite nationwide crew on website.
Life in Qatar earlier than and in the course of the World Cup
For almost a month, the Qatar will wish to be the showcase of the world. A gathering place that can show to the eyes of the entire world that the small emirate is a contemporary nation, able to organizing and internet hosting such an occasion.
There have been many articles revealed by our colleagues, saying that the group could be problematic. Take, for instance, safety and group on match days. The means are there however the circulation of supporters might be such that there could possibly be a mass impact. An aspect to take into consideration, which makes skeptical Soufiane Saadi. “Doha is big but small at the same time. For now, I’m enough skeptical how it’s going to be on game day. They will do everything to ensure that traffic is fluid and clear, but it can quickly be a mess to get to the racecourse. We will see.”
Another problem is pointed out by Hugo Besnier this time. “I don’t see any problems apart from entering the stadiums. In addition to your ticket, you must show your hotel reservation and other things. It’s a bit messy but overall, Qatar has really put in the means to make the competition happen in the best possible way. concludes the young jockey.
The Khalifa International Stadium. Photo credit: FIFA website.
Ten years have passed since obtaining this tournament. In the meantime, the country has changed, evolved. During all of the interviews, the jockeys never ceased to repeat the scope of the work, the design and the immensity of the infrastructures built or under construction.
Ronan Thomas is starting his fourth season at Doha and saw the country transform little by little, “It’s funny because I’ve seen cities whole out of the ground. It is a country that has developed very quickly. Everything is impressive just on the scale of Doha. The city does continues to expand, from north to south. The World Cup changed things for the country.” he explains.
Hosting such a competition requires these changes anyway. Transformations visible to the naked eye, as you might expect.
The World Cup, a negative or positive impact on Qatari races?
As mentioned above, sporting activities will be on hiatus during the World Cup, with the exception of races. We would therefore be tempted to answer no, no impact. For the jockeys also, the world competition will not be an obstacle to their discipline. On the contrary, professionals see it as a way of introducing tourists to their sport on site, “To be honest, apart from the trainers and the owners, there are not many people on the racetracks, it is very restricted. Maybe the World Cup will bring other people.” valued Hugo Besnier.
Words confirmed by Ronan Thomas, “The audience in Qatar is small. It is an audience of socio-pros, the entourage of owners also comes. Apart from the Derby meeting and the days of very big races, there are not many people. There will be no impact on our business.” concludes the Mayenne.
The French of Doha, first supporters of the French crew
They would be the vanguard of thousands and thousands of supporters of the Blues. Because from one sport to a different, there is just one step but additionally 100 meters. The racecourse of Al-Rayyan could be very near Khalifa International Stadium, as evidenced by the photograph of 1, which can host many group matches but additionally the match for third place. The stadium and the racecourse will vibrate on the similar time, twice, on November 23 and December 1.
Just a few days earlier than the beginning of the competitors, the environment and the joy are slowly beginning to rise. The flags of every collaborating nation are seen in the streets or across the stadiums however the followers from everywhere in the world who may have the posh of attending the matches haven’t but arrived in line with the three jockeys.
Doha will reside a month to the rhythm of the World Cup – Photo credit score AFP
Whether Ronan Thomas, Soufiane Saadi and Hugo Besnier will be capable of go to the stadium for France-Australia and France-Denmark, the third match could possibly be watched on TV, all collectively. “It is not excluded to have an evening all together to watch the others matches. It all depends on the two calendars but it would be great to share this moment between French people, here in Qatar” concludes Ronan Thomas.
The French Football Team will start the competitors subsequent Tuesday, November 22 towards australia at 8 p.m. (French time) i.e. 10 p.m. Doha. The Blues ought to depend on their compatriots, “the Doha Strip”, whereas soccer and racing would be the soul of the Qatar for a month.
*Photo of 1 – Credit – QREC web site – Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club