It seems that tourists to Qatar who were hoping to be allowed to drink beer at this year’s World Cup aren’t the only ones who were given a rude awakening before the competition even began. The New York Times’ Tariq Panja broke the story earlier this month that Qatar has made certain people an alluring offer. This includes complimentary transportation and lodging, as well as “a little amount of spending money,” according to Panja. The catch: they would have to operate in accordance with a contract, which required them to spy on their countrymen who had negative views of the host country.
Numerous fans’ organizations, notably the American Outlaws with headquarters in the United States, responded to the news.
However, the plot has now taken a new turn. Do you recall the rewards that signups were promised for tipping off their fellow participants? It seems that they have stopped occurring.
As The Guardian’s Paul MacInnes noted, Qatar originally intended to provide paid participants in this program—known as the Fan Leader Network—a per diem to cover meals. But such payments have since been abandoned, much as the idea of beer stands at World Cup stadiums.
The message, which Fan Leader Network members received, is cited in the report as saying that “the daily allowance will regrettably no longer be granted. The allowance was designed as a little supplement to your own finances to help with refreshments while you were there.
There is now even more cause for alarm given Qatar’s swift retreat on both this and the issue of alcohol use in stadiums. This is particularly concerning given Qatar’s track record on human rights and the nation’s apparent readiness to reverse certain long-held beliefs.