The build-up to the Qatar World Cup was drenched in controversy- Human Rights violations, allegations of corruption, a rigid stance on homosexuality and even a bizarre ban on one-night stands.
All of these elements compounded together and led to a preconception shared by many fans online – Qatar is going to be far from welcoming.
And when the gulf nation, in cahoots with FIFA, dropped the news of an alcohol ban at the last second, these assumptions were hammered home.
However, early fan accounts have come in since detailing their experiences in Qatar, and so far, it’s not all bad.
These three travelling Evertonians in particular had quite the tale to tell, and their escapades have already become one of the stories of the tournament.
It all began in the most typical fashion possible, a beer run.
Bans, dry states, and no alcohol are all words that fall deaf on English ears, and these three Merseyside lads provide evidence.
Speaking to talkSPORT at one of the fan zones, the trio recount their endeavour, one which is eerily similar to a Todd Phillips comedy flick.
Cladded in Sunglasses, the fan in the middle started the tale off by saying, ‘We were just having a good time, getting our bearings right, and we’ve been enjoying ourselves haven’t we John? ‘
That last bit was as suggestive as it sounds, as he gave the floor to the bloke beside him, who added, ‘Yeah, we met one of the sheikh’s sons and he took us back to the palace, and he showed us he had lions and everything. They’ve made us so welcome.’
The lad with the shades then provided more context, ‘Basically, we were on a hunt for some beers and he was like yeah yeah, so we jumped in the back of his Toyota Land Cruiser, ended up in a big palace. He showed us his monkeys, his exotic bears, it was nuts.’
Jumping into the back of a sheikh’s SUV while clamouring for alcohol isn’t the smartest move, but for these boys it clearly paid dividends.
Oh and in case you’re calling ‘waffle’, here’s the proof.
Don’t know about the aforementioned beer, but the lions, monkeys and palace look all accounted for, this impossible-sounding story is audaciously true.
It’s lovely to see fan accounts such as these emerging so early into the tournament, it certainly helps clear up all the tension around the event.