Unlike previous World Cup tournaments where football fans indulged in fun-filled obsessions like drinking alcohol and going shirtless, this year's World Cup in Doha, Qatar came with a long list of rules and regulations; to uphold Gulf nation's culture.
As the popular adage goes, when in Rome do as the Romans do, football fans will be at risk of being punished for not keeping up with the code of stadium as set by Fifa for this year's World Cup. Solomon Koko notes football traditions that enthusiasts will have to do without during the 64 matches in this year's tournament in Doha, Qatar.
1. No alcohol
A good game traditionally is enjoyed with a mug of alcoholic beverage. However with the new regulations, fans watching the matches should NOT appear to be under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or any narcotic substance while at the stadiums. Despite all these restrictions in stadiums, alcohol isn't illegal in Qatar, but being drunk in public is a crime.
2. Vuvuzela my foot
The World Cup tournament held in South Africa in 2010 saw the invention of the Vuvuzela. Whilst this was a welcome trend originating from Africa stakeholders often complained about the noise effect that would occasionally drown the referees whistle affecting normal officiating. Although Vuvuzelas have been used by fans during the build up matches for the tournament, they will not be allowed in the stadiums.
3. Keep your shirts on please
Adhering to their strict cultural regulation against nudity, visiting fans will be required to have their shirts on at all times and "must not remove items of clothing or remain in a state of undress while at the stadium.
3. Only baby food allowed
As a measure to ensure no spread of communicable diseases, foods of any kind are not allowed to be brought into the matches. With hygiene matters being paramount, foods are not allowed with the exception of baby food or doctor's prescription.
5. No inflatables in the stadium
Fans who often carry with them inflatable items like balls, balloons and mascots will not be allowed to have them in the stadium.
6. Musical instruments
With the pomp and glitz associated with travelling fans dancing and chanting for their home teams using musical instruments, the 2022 tournament has barred instruments that don't fit easily through the X - ray scanner unless specific designated fans are given approval by the event organisers.
Seen as a security measure, all bags are allowed in the stadium only if they can be stored under seats or if they are not deemed large. According to the regulation, the sum of the three dimensions of length, width and height must not exceed 75 cm.
8. Traditional paraphernalia
Football has been regarded as a game of rituals. However, for football fanatics who intend to bring their rituals and paraphernalia such as flywhisks, guards to cheer their teams, this time will be different as they have been duly banned from the tournament.
With the region's tough regulations against promiscuity, fans and tourists who will be caught engaging in promiscuous tendencies stand to face stern action from authorities.