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HomeFIFA"What a joke": Fans rage about "embarrassing" scenes at the World Cup

“What a joke”: Fans rage about “embarrassing” scenes at the World Cup

Qatar was eliminated from the home World Cup after just five days. Image: Getty

FIFA’s decision FIFA World Cup Qatar looks even worse after the hosts made humiliating unwanted history on Friday. With a 1:3 defeat against SenegalQatar has broken the record for the fastest elimination of a host country from a World Cup.

Qatar’s campaign is over after just five days, with Ecuador’s 1-1 draw with the Netherlands seal their fate. It is the shortest time a host country has played at a World Cup in the event’s 92-year history.

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Qatar cannot qualify for the last 16 no matter what happens in their last game against the Netherlands. South Africa were the only other home team in 2010 not to make it past the group stage – but they still managed one win and one draw, just missing the goal difference.

But Qatar’s flop will leave FIFA with even more tongue in cheek after the controversial $220 billion decision to stage the World Cup in the Middle East for the first time. The writing was on the wall for Qatar from the start. The team may be 2019 Asian champions but looked nervous and were stunned by a 2-0 defeat by Ecuador last weekend, just after a glittering opening ceremony hosted by the wealthy Gulf emirate to showcase it to the world.

Qatar’s performance on Friday was a little, but not much better for a side that all plays in the local league and lack the kind of top talent that is now present in almost every World Cup team. Qatar scored at least one goal this time from a second-half header from substitute Mohammed Muntari – a Ghana-born forward who is one of many in the squad who was born outside of Qatar but came on to improve his World Cup chances raise.

Senegalese striker Bamba Dieng, pictured here after scoring against Qatar at the World Cup.

Senegalese striker Bamba Dieng celebrates after scoring against Qatar at the World Cup. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

2-1, Qatar threatened a comeback against the African champions for just six minutes before Bamba Dieng responded, scoring Senegal’s third goal and restoring the two-goal lead.

“If you expected us to go very far in this tournament, then it will be a disappointment,” said Qatar coach Félix Sánchez before his team was officially eliminated. “Our goal was to be competitive.”

Qatar had never qualified for the World Cup prior to FIFA’s highly controversial decision in 2010 to transfer hosting rights to Qatar – which automatically saw the team participate. But despite spending some $220 billion of its vast wealth building stadiums, roads and even a new city for the World Cup, the oil and gas-rich nation failed to put together a solid defense for the team.

Qatar fans pictured here watching the World Cup clash against Senegal.

Qatar fans watching the World Cup duel against Senegal. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Ecuador’s draw with Netherlands knocks out Qatar

Ecuadorian striker Enner Valencia later secured his country a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands, officially eliminating Qatar. Friday’s draw earned both the Netherlands and Ecuador a point each to move them to four points in Group A.

Valencia have become a talisman on the biggest stage and his 49th-minute equalizer against the Netherlands made him the top scorer at the World Cup with his third goal in Qatar. It also extended the 33-year-old veteran’s winning streak, who has scored all six of Ecuador’s goals at World Cups since the 2014 tournament.

Ecuador dominated much of the game after Cody Gakpo put the Dutch ahead in the sixth minute with a rising shot from the edge of the box. It was Qatar’s fastest goal so far.

Ecuador equalized when Valencia put the ball into an empty goal after goalkeeper Andries Noppert blocked a shot from Pervis Estupinan. Almost the entire Ecuadorian team joined their inspirational captain in a goal celebration. It created a powerful image of unity as they knelt together in a circle and faced the night sky.

After the hosts’ hasty exit from the tournament, fans were quick to condemn FIFA and Qatar.

with agencies

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