All photos by Ray Toh
The 24th Men’s Handball World Championship kicked off in Qatar yesterday with spectacular lighting displays, a packed crowd and the blessing of the nation’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
The opening ceremonies were held at the Lusail Multipurpose Hall, where Qatar and Brazil faced off in the opening match. Qatar came out on top, 28-23.
During the opener, Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir’s brother and chairman of the organizing committee of the IHF world handball championships, said:
“We dedicate this edition of the Men’s Handball World Championship Qatar 2015 to the children of the world.”
He added that ticket sale proceeds will go toward the “Educate a Child” program.
The global initiative was founded by Sheikha Moza in 2012 and focuses on finding innovative teaching solutions to ensure impoverished children have access to education.
The handball tournament goes through Feb. 1.
View the full match schedule here, and buy tickets here, or at the dedicated booths in City Center, Villaggio, Landmark and Al Khor malls as well as at the main entrance to the venues.
Packed crowd? Really?
According to our photographer, the stadium was filled during the ceremony. Though to be fair, many people did leave before/during the game.
Haha, that is so funny. They find the opening ceremony more exciting than the actual game itself….
It’s apparently more important to be seen at the event than to actually see the event itself….. Expect amazing!
whats so funny?
I think Althani answered your question. If the masses aren’t interested in the games, then why go through the trouble to host the tournament? Same with the WC. You don’t see two rows worth of people at QFA games, but the country has gone to great lengths (how great depends on who you ask) to secure the 2022 bid. Will they hire fans and bus in workers when paying fans leave before halftime during that tournament just to avoid the embarrassment of empty stadiums? That’s why a lot of people can’t figure it out and roll their eyes quite a bit. Other than being able to say, “Look at all our shiny things,” why does the country want to host all these events? There certainly isn’t any passion for the game itself and last night definitely proved it when the home team’s fans deserted them.
That isn’t so strange really, The game is kinda boring to the general massea here but the ceremony was neat :))
Didn’t watch the ceremony, but watched most of the game on TV, and it was far from packed
Qatar had to pay Spanish fans to support Spain. The article is from Barcelona’s daily La Vanguardia; I guess they might have done the same with other participants countries….paying fans to support and fill the stadium http://www.lavanguardia.com/deportes/20150114/54422604511/qatar-contrata-hinchas-espanoles-animar-seleccion-mundial-balonmano.html
No this was proved to be false and that site always puts out gag articles
La Vanguardia? I don’t think so! It is a paper out at national level….
No I seen a lot of articles
sure you know more….guess by your name you’re Al Hispani
yeahhhh si si Hispánico como en el Gladiador
do you want to go ahead with the Mexican menu? 😉
I’m just reading Taco Bell menu, carry on
la khalas shukran. Taco Bell is just another junk food!
It’s not a gag article. If you an alternative printed account or a retraction from the paper, do share.
The AFP is running that story, and it’s showing up in every paper from every country. I would find it hard to believe the AFP would runs story without fact checking it first.
It’s being picked up by a number of outlets.
Completely true. Same for French fans (70 pax from various Handball clubs in France). Paid to come over with a daily allowance of 100QAR or so. I am not so shocked by the practice as we all know the affluence might be low locally and if Qatar and its wealth wants to make some fans happy while serving its cause so be it.
The real shame is when you – Qatar resident – want to head out there and realise that the game is sold out while the attendance is low, it makes my crazy. All of this because, the organisers (whoever they might be) have decided to privilege companies for give away tickets. And we all know that giveaways always turn out as people no coming massively (Except for opening and closing). And that is a real shame. People are willing to pay money to get in and support but that end up not being possible just due to poor rules of engagement for sponsors and advertisers. Now imagine that for WC2022…
I’m not a huge fan of handball, but I have given it a shot as a spectator and found it surprisingly entertaining. When there isn’t a huge natural fan base, events like this only work if there is a festive atmosphere and a good crowd. Baseball is like this for me. I’m not a fan but there is nothing comparable to going to a game in Japan or an afternoon game in Chicago.