ENGLAND fans face a scramble for hotels at the Qatar World Cup – with the entire country almost completely sold out already.
The Three Lions sealed their place at next year’s finals in November.England fans hoping to stay in Qatar could be left disappointed with no hotel rooms available[/caption]
But supporters hoping to follow Gareth Southgate’s men to the Middle East at the end of 2022 could be left disappointed.
As reported by the Associated Press, there are virtually no rooms available throughout the month-long tournament from November 21 to December 18.
It is understood the majority have been taken by World Cup organisers block-booking to supply teams, Fifa officials, sponsors and media.
Doha is the only built-up area in the desert country, with all eight stadiums within a 30-mile radius of the capital.
Accor, Hilton and Intercontinental, Marriott and Wyndham chains make up the majority of hotels in Doha.
However, there is nothing to book at any of their 28 sites within the World Cup dates.
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The only available hotel room covering the duration of the tournament was at a four-star hotel near the airport for £782 per night.
Around 90,000 rooms are set to become available via a website through Qatar’s Supreme Committee, in charge of planning the event – but that is roughly the same number of fans who travelled from the USA alone to Russia for the 2018 tournament.
The AP report adds that Qatari officials are expecting at least 850,000 overseas visitors for the World Cup next year – although it could even be more than 1.2million.
Between November 27 and 28, there will be 276,000 ticket holders attending matches.
The most recent data from the Qatar Tourism Authority said there are 33,208 rooms in hotels and hotel apartments.
One-night stays are set to be banned which means fans could be forced to fly directly in on the day of a match and leave immediately afterwards.
However, the cheapest flights from England to Doha during the tournament are already more than £1,000.
There will be people that will just not be able to afford travelling to QatarRonan Evain
Around 4,000 cabins on cruise ships will be up for grabs as they dock in Doha next winter.
But widescale camping in the desert is now not likely to be a genuine possibility.
Ronan Evain, executive director of the Football Supporters Europe group, told the AP. “We might end up in a situation where, at least for the European, and some of the Asian teams, the best option for fans will be to travel in and out on matchday which would come with a cost.
“But also it would come with quite an extraordinary environmental footprint.”
“If the focus remains on premium accommodation and if the flight prices remain where they are then there will be people that will just not be able to afford travelling to Qatar.
“No one is seriously arguing that Qatar should build a million hotel rooms.
“There is probably some sort of middle ground and solution, temporary housing or anything like this, but for the moment it’s hard to see this happening.”
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