World Cup Review: Qatar Edition

My experience at the 2022 World Cup!


Mathias Glickley

Mathias and Ted at Portugal vs Ghana

Mathias Glickley, Reporter

7,628 miles, 32 hours of flying, and an average of 16,000 steps per day is only a small portion of my trip to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The adventure began when  I left school on Tuesday, November 22, and departed from MCI to go to Philadelphia for my only layover.  After this stop, I had a twelve-and-a-half-hour flight to Doha, the capital of Qatar. Upon arriving in the city, my dad and I completed the ten-mile walk to our hotel from the train station.  While walking, we admired how new and modern all of the buildings were as even our hotel was only three days old!  

That night, my dad and I rode the red line for ten minutes to the green line then rode that west for another fifteen minutes before arriving at the stadium for Belgium vs Canada game.  The security entrances were wrapped around the whole stadium, and to gain entry, you had to show your Hayya card, which was your visa, and then go through metal detectors. For this first game, we sat right behind the goal with all of the Canadian fans.  When the game started, Canada looked the better of the two teams and was awarded a penalty that was missed by their best player, Alphonso Davies.  Belgium really only had one good opportunity that they capitalized on with a goal from Michy Batshuayi in the first half.  The game finished with a 1-0 Belgium win.  After the game, they took everyone out a side exit towards the giant mall with thousands of taxi drivers ready to take you back to wherever your hotel was.  The cab we got made us walk about a half mile to his car, and then … we had the scariest car ride of our lives.  The driver would get right up on the bumper of the car in front of him to force his way into a spot, would use his horn every thirty seconds to a minute, and speed like it was nobody’s business. To his credit though, we made it back to our hotel – and quickly too! Our first day concluded when we got back to our hotel around one in the morning and quickly went to bed. 

Stadium 974 (Mathias Glickley)

Our next day started around noon with a dose of jet lag and a strong desire to sleep in.  We went to Al Bidda Park, which was the location of the fan fest.  There, we watched Cameroon vs Switzerland match with fans from many different countries.  We stood and talked with a Senagalese couple, who were cheering on their Cameroonian companions.  After the fan fest, we returned to our hotel and got ready for the next game we were going to that night: Ghana vs Portugal.  We arrived at the second train station and were delighted when we saw a bunch of Ghana fans dancing and celebrating there.  When we got on the train, there was a Ghana fan with a speaker playing African music and dancing with others on the train.  But when we got to the stadium, we watched one of the most boring first halves of soccer of all time. The second half, however, was a totally different game as Portugal came out and got their first goal from a Ronaldo penalty kick.  This was quickly answered by a goal from Ghana that sent their fans into a frenzy.  However, these celebrations were short-lived as Portugal put two more in quick succession.  Ghana got one more goal before the whistle, and the game finished 3-2, it was quite the game! We took the train back to our stop and went to a pizzeria to watch Brazil and Serbia.  We sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather as every night was in the mid-70s. It was the perfect way to end a busy day! 

USA vs England (Mathias Glickley )

Our last day started by going to a market called Souq Waqif.  We walked through a small alleyway into a very large market that had everything from restaurants to spices to some (more or less) legal bird sale. We left (without purchasing a bird), went back to the hotel, and took a nap to get some energy for the night game.  We then took a twenty-minute train ride to make our twenty-five-minute bus ride, and then completed the journey with a fifteen-minute walk to get into the stadium.  Once we got in the stadium, they had a giant TV with the Netherlands vs Ecuador game with an annoying DJ playing music way too loudly.  The game was packed with 68,000 people in attendance.  The game was supposed to be dominated by England, but it ended up being quite the opposite as the U.S. dominated most of the game.  The game ended up in a 0-0 tie, which was a bit of a letdown for the USA as they really controlled the game. This was our longest day as we got back to our hotel around 1:30 on Saturday morning.  

Our trip started to wrap up as we grabbed a taxi on our way to the airport. After a sixteen and a half hour’s flight, we finally arrived in Dallas for a little layover before the last-hour flight back to KC. Overall, this was a great experience meeting very kind people. and they did a great job of keeping everything safe the whole time. It goes without saying that if you ever get the opportunity to attend a World Cup game in person, you would get a kick out of it!