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"We represent the entire Arab world": the Saudi fans in a frenzy Israel today


The fans of all the big teams in Saudi Arabia have united behind the team • They believe they can push it to the round of 16 and help it win the hosting of the World Cup in 2030 • Tonight they have to beat Mexico

After stunning Argentina, Saudi Arabia wants to complete the task tonight and qualify for the round of 16.

A victory over Mexico, which has not impressed so far, will be enough for them to qualify for the next stage for the first time since 1994. The Saudis are full of self-belief despite the loss to Poland, and are confident that they will have one victory tonight: in the stands.

Mexico is accompanied in Qatar by tens of thousands of fans.

They almost always have a majority in the World Cup games and sometimes the feeling is that you are in Azteca in Mexico City.

But tonight it will be different, because the largest army of fans here comes from the only country that has a land border with Qatar: Saudi Arabia.

So it's true, almost all 88 thousand spectators in the huge stadium in Losail will wear green tonight - only there will be more Saudis than Mexicans.

The Saudi frenzy around the national team increased after the sensational victory over Leo Messi.

The government declared a national holiday, the players were promised heaven and earth, and also a Rolls Royce.

But it is not only the quantity, but also the quality.

This is the first time that football fans outside of Asia are exposed to the Saudi cheering culture, which until now belonged only to teams whose fans united behind the national team.

Yassin, a fan of Al Ittihad, told Al Jazeera: "The Saudi cheering culture is much better than the European one, it is similar to what happens in Latin America. We have megaphones, drums, songs, trumpets. This is the culture we have developed."

Al Ittihad, from the city of Jeddah, is one of the biggest teams in Saudi Arabia, and the derby against Al Ahly is one of the hottest games in the country.

The setting in it does not fall short of what happens in the stands of the Super Clasico between Boca Juniors and River Plate in Argentina.

Saudi Arabian players.

Became national heroes, photo: Reuters

Yassin explained: "The Ultras have united. We sing the songs of our teams, only we changed the words to suit the team. We used to come to the team games with the teams' shirts, but now everyone wears the green shirt. We came here with pre-prepared tifos, the songs were prepared in advance Everything was ready even before we arrived in Qatar."

Ali, another fan, added: "The thought that the Arab world and the Gulf countries do not have a football culture is wrong, and here, in the World Cup, this is the biggest stage to prove it. The Saudi fans represent the entire Arab world."

Saudi Arabia does not hide its ambition to host the World Cup (along with Egypt and Greece) in 2030, and a victory over Mexico, together with the strength of its fans, could help the country win the hosting of the tournament in 8 years.

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-11-30

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