Lebanon’s Interior Ministry Allows Spectators to Attend World Cup Qualifier against Qatarإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Lebanese interior ministry allowed Lebanese fans to attend Lebanon’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Qatar in Beirut on Sunday, after an earlier government decision to hold the game without spectators.
The game is scheduled to be held at the Camille Chamoun stadium in Beirut on Sunday.
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel stressed in a press conference Friday that Lebanon should prove to the FIFA that it is a "country of civilization", he said assuring that political disputes will not divide the Lebanese in sports, “we are ready to host all the games,” he added.
The decision banning spectators was taken due to the recent security instability in the country and after the government received security and official information that fans may sing chants that may be offensive to Lebanese-Qatari ties during the game.
The Lebanese Football Association has since halted the sale of tickets for the game.
The head of the Association, Hisham Haidar, told Agence France Presse on Thursday that “The national team has united the Lebanese people and the fans are the main factor in this fourth round of qualifiers in order for Lebanon to spring a surprise and reach the World Cup.”
The fourth and final round of the qualifiers are set to take off on Sunday with Lebanon being grouped with Qatar, Iran, South Korea, and Uzbekistan.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to be held in Brazil.