Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

So todays flashback Friday, all the links and stories are related Qatar’s  is hosting the 24th Edition of the Handball World Cup. If your like me you would not know much about the world of handball.

So let me explain what I found out, Handball is game played in 174 countries whilst originating in  It consists of two teams of 14 players (7 playing and 7 subs). and a game consists of  two halves of 30 mins with a 15 min interval.  For more info you can visit our good friend Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handball)

So back to the World Cup in Qatar, gearing up for the World Cup Qatar decided to place hot air balloons across Qatar to get people hyped up.

Hot Air Ballons gearing up for the Games

Hot Air Ballons gearing up for the Games

Then for the Opening Ceremony in the newly built Lusail Sports Arena which was made along with 2 other stadiums for this championships, however they can be used for a multitude of indoor events.

Lusail Stadium

Lusail Stadium

Public Gym at Lusail Stadium

Public Gym at Lusail Stadium

Myself and Mohammed outside the stadium

Myself and Mohammed outside the stadium

The ceremony had some unique elements such as turning the base of the court into a – tennis court, swimming pool, basket ball, etc with young kids playing on the imaginary surface, flashing remotely controlled wrist bands,   and the really catchy theme tune, It was a really brilliant part of the ceremony.

Amazing graphics during Opening Ceremony

Amazing graphics during Opening Ceremony

All Countries flags...

All Countries flags…

As well as some multicoloured drummers…

Another brilliant thing I loved was the highlighted bracelets everyone found under their seats that were automatically lit by the organisers through some sort of radio/infrared transmission as you can see from the video below!

The theme tune  for the games is mainly containing Qatari Singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi and the following artists featured in the song include: Alexander Rybak (Belarus); Alya (Slovenia); Carmen Suleiman (Egypt); Charlee (Austria); Daniel Kajmakoski (Macedonia); Daniela Herrero (Argentina); Ewa Farna (Czech Republic); Fallulah (Denmark); Francisca Valenzuela (Chile); Hasan Karbech (Tunisia); Jon Jonsson (Iceland); Lana Jurcevic (Croatia); Lucas Silveira (Brazil); Marija Sestic (Bosnia); Nyusha (Russia); Oceana (Germany); Ola (Sweden); Pablo Lopez (Spain); Rafal Brzozowski (Poland); Shahab Tiam (Iran); Amine Djemmal (Algeria); and Jaber Al Kaser (Saudi Arabia),

I find its an extremely cheesy song, however after the second of third time it grows on you and the performance by the artists at the opening ceremony certainly got the crowd going ((https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7n2If4n-W0)

Thanks to my friend Noureddine, pictured below in the offices of the Handball committee.

Nour at the HQ of the Handball Committee

Nour at the HQ of the Handball Committee

I managed to get access to VIP, as you can see from the pictures below the hospitality areas was not too shabby, the areas ranged from corporate areas to ones owned by individuals or local prominent families.

View from the VIP Suite

View from the VIP Suite

Private Suites

Private Suites

Complimentary food thanks to Fauchon

Complimentary food thanks to Fauchon

Lounge in VIP

Lounge in VIP

The actual games are fun to watch and quite action packed, the attendance for the games has been shocking for the event, and there is a multitude of factors and to be honest I would hold most of them as the organising committee’s fault. The pricing of the tickets has not been practical and suitable, the PR and marketing has been poor, an example was the level of marketing in the countries competing in the event, i heard each country was told to invite 20 fans to each game (all expenses to be paid by the committee) to ensure that there would be at least some representation of all teams, but this gesture though very admirable could have been done in a more effective manner by running competitions and with local sponsors in those countries and get more people vested into the competition so people are willing to travel to the World Cup independently like they do in cricket, football or rugby.

Myself and Fahad the Mascot

Myself and Fahad the Mascot

Noyan and the Notorious Irani fan with all the badges...

Noyan and the Notorious Irani fan with all the badges…

KSA vs Germany

KSA vs Germany

They brought high profile musicians to the matches to increase attendance such as Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani, as well as having this week have Taio Cruz, Jason Derulo and Kool and the Gang. Below is a video of Ms Stefani doing her thing…

Myself, Charlotte, Maz and Rochelle waiting on Gwen Stefani

Myself, Charlotte, Maz and Rochelle waiting on Gwen Stefani

One of the controversial points of the world cup  games apart from the low attendance was the nationality of the Qatar Players, as you can see there is not many arabic sounding players (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-31031852).

The "Qatari" Team....

The “Qatari” Team….

I would  have to concur with the Austrian goalkeeper Thomas Bauer in the artcile, who states “It feels like playing against a world selection team.” Will these people get to keep their Qatari citizenships after the championships, only time will tell!

Adieu, Adieu….Stormy