Qatar’s migrant army lines up for a glimpse of the World Cup

Azam Rashid, a carpenter who worked on two stadiums, said he was one of many workers who couldn’t afford tickets but was intrigued by the cup.

“The tickets may be too expensive, but Qatar and the World Cup gave me a chance,” he said.

“There are long lines, but it will be worth it to see the trophy,” he said.

Some 40 riyal (US$11) tickets are reserved for Qatar’s 2.8 million residents, most of whom are foreign workers.

However, many in line told AFP that all the cheap tickets were gone and that the costs of others were out of reach for the mostly male workers who earned the Qatari minimum wage of $275 a month.

“The World Cup is exciting, but it’s definitely too much for me,” said an administrative assistant who mentioned his name as Tarir.

Another expatriate, Nasim, said he was luckier and got $10 tickets. “Anyone can pay the price I paid,” he said.

But Ahmed Kareem, a construction worker who said he had been in Qatar for a decade, predicted that most migrants would only watch matches on TV.

“This trophy is a big event for us. Most of us will come closest to the World Cup,” he said.

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