Monday, November 16, 2009
England v Brazil in Doha November 2009
Wind,rain and flooding - not ideal for watching football.
But that was in the UK.
In Doha it is hot and sunny.
Construct some high class hotels, an impressive museum , some American quality shopping centres in a location around a bay. Add in some skyscraper towers and a sanitised souq.
Bring in multitudes from the Indian sub-continent to do the work - work that visibly continues at a pace despite the economic downturn.
And you have an environment that is safe and secure with guarenteed weather.
The only downside being the tolerance of smoking in public places (and the likely boredom after being there for a while)
Doha - an attractive venue for many sporting contests, conferences and other prestigious events.
England 0 Brazil 1 in the Khalifa International Stadium.
The locals made it family friendly with an opening presentation complete with flourescent lights.
In the game itself our reserves were always going to struggle against a stronger Brazilian team.
As usual we made some defensive mistakes - one by Wes Brown should have resulted in a red card for Foster. The referee kept it friendly and also let a number of other fouls go by.
We created little - Bent hardly had a touch from the minimal service he received - making it very difficult to assess him as a World Cup striker.
The stadium was stylish - like a lot of Doha - in an area next to a world class mall (complete with canal and gondola) and a striking tower.
It was also a stadium with an arch - like a number these days.
Prompting the question about Wembley -why did we not make more effort to preserve those unique twin towers ?
Afterwards I returned to my hotel via a bus from outside the stadium followed by a walk along the corniche to the accompaniment of noisy, ecstatic Egyptians celebrating their result against Algeria.
On this trip I did forgo any alcohol - it was available at a price in the larger hotels but was usually accompanied by a haze of smoke .
That wouldn't have been comfortable - unlike Brazil's victory.