World Cup hosts Qatar announce fans won’t be permitted to attend games ‘without receiving a full Covid vaccination’
Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani told local media that supporters at next year's festival of football will be prevented from attending games unless they have received full doses of one of the several vaccines currently being deployed to halt the spread of Covid-19.
The Gulf nation also revealed that they are attempting to secure 1 million doses to vaccinate fans in the region who may want to attend games.
"When the date of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 comes, most countries of the world will have vaccinated and immunized their citizens," Sheikh Khalid said Sunday.
"Due to the possibility that some countries will not be able to vaccinate all their citizens, Qatar will not allow fans to enter stadiums without receiving a full vaccination against the virus.
"We are currently negotiating with a company to provide one million vaccine doses against the coronavirus for the immunization of those coming to the FIFA World Cup Qatar," he added.
"Our primary goal in vaccinating the unvaccinated is to protect the public health of citizens and residents."
To date, Qatar has recorded 583 deaths from around 221,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases from a population of 2.8 million people. Infections have plummeted in recent weeks, however, with the current seven-day average being just over 150 cases - down from a weekly average of just less than a thousand in mid-April.Also on rt.com ‘When will the Faroe Islands vote?’ Norway votes against Qatar World Cup boycott despite concerns over ‘human rights abuses’
However, it is thought that the Qatari government is fearful of inviting new potential variants of the virus within their borders as fans from dozens of countries descend on the country for the month-long tournament which kicks off in late November next year.
FIFA and the Qatar World Cup organizers, meanwhile, have yet to comment on the vaccine plans detailed by Sheikh Khalid.
Qatar were awarded hosting rights to next year's World Cup in 2010 but have since been hit with several accusations of corruption in relation to winning the bid, while human rights watchdogs have also been fiercely critical of the treatment of migrant workers who were drafted into the country to help build the necessary stadia.Also on rt.com Jekyll and Hyde: Ronaldo displays flashes of brilliance… but trolled for atrocious dribbling as Portugal beaten by Germany