World Cup organizers in Qatar are pushing groups of fans to travel to the tournament, saying they are asking for positive comments on social media in return.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has confirmed a policy of inviting groups of fans to the finals as guests after reports by Dutch public broadcaster NOS, which said on Sunday that Qatar is paying for flights and hotels for a group of 50 Dutch fans. .
In return, these supporters had to sign a “code of conduct” urging them to post positive comments about the tournament on social media and to report “any offensive, degrading or offensive comments” by others to the Supreme Committee, preferably using screenshots.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS and more (US)
The broadcaster quoted two Dutch fans who said the tournament organizers had chosen them as fan leaders and added that they were asked to select a group of 50 loyal fans for the free trip to Qatar.
“With the tournament approaching, we invited our most active fan leaders to personally nominate a small group of fans to join us as guests, as a way to thank them for their cooperation,” a spokesperson for the Supreme Committee told Reuters.
The World Cup in Qatar describes on its website its Fan Leaders Program as a network of nearly 400 fans and influencers from 60 countries who have provided “ideas, research, content creation and amplifying messages” for the tournament.
Organizers did not say how many fans they invited or provide financial details.
World Cup finals schedule
In its Code of Conduct, the Supreme Committee is asking fan leaders to agree to integrate their content into their social media posts and support the World Cup by liking and reposting third-party posts about the tournament.
It also states that fans are not expected to be a “mouthpiece” for Qatar, but adds that it “clearly would not be appropriate to disparage Qatar, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy or the FIFA World Cup”.
Belgian and French media also reported that Qatar offered selected groups of fans from those countries a free trip to the World Cup.