'Embarrassing': Football fans troll Qatar after viral photos show thousands of empty seats at World Cup Final

'Embarrassing': Football fans troll Qatar after viral photos show thousands of empty seats at World Cup Final
The 88,966-seat Lusail Stadium had thousands of vacant seats during the FIFA World Cup Final between Argentina and France, and they did not fill up even as the game went on (@BaronidiTorino/Twitter)

DOHA, QATAR: Football fans have pointed out the "embarrassing" number of vacant seats at the Lusail Stadium during Sunday's dramatic World Cup final between Argentina and France on December 18. Even though a sizable contingent of Argentina supporters showed up in the hopes that Lionel Messi would finally win the trophy that has eluded him for so long, the stadium was not entirely full. The number of empty seats significantly increased after the second half started, with Argentina leading France, the reigning champions, 2-0, owing to a Messi penalty and an Angel Di Maria goal. The 88,966-seat stadium had thousands of empty seats, and even as the game went on, they did not fill up. 

As expected several social media users came out and reacted to the now-viral snaps of an empty stadium. One user wrote on Twitter, “Empty seats everywhere as the second half starts? Exploding the myth that Qatar is football mad. Embarrassing for Qatar, embarrassing for FIFA.” “Nice gesture by the #Qatar government to leave empty seats at the final in respect of the Ghufran and Kenyan workers who died building the stadium,” another added. Someone noted, “Crazy how many empty seats the stadium has considering it’s the World Cup final. Hall of shame by Qatar.” “Empty seats at the World Cup Final in Qatar is exactly what happens when tickets go to corperates [corporates] instead of fans,” yet another user remarked. 



Lionel Messi celebrates win over France by collapsing on knees as Argentina FINALLY wins FIFA World Cup

'Proudly displaying themselves': Elon Musk, Jared Kushner slammed as duo seen together at World Cup final

Initially, the announcement that Qatar would host the FIFA World Cup sparked celebrations in Doha, marking the first time the championship would be staged in the Arab region. But the decision, which was made in 2010, also drew immediate criticism, including questions about the viability of holding a sporting event in a nation where summer temperatures routinely reach 100 degrees, claims of bribery and corruption against FIFA officials who supported Qatar, and worries about ongoing human rights violations.