Iran government supporters confront protesters at the World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Tensions ran high at Iran’s second match at the World Cup on Friday as fans supporting the Iranian government harassed those protesting against it and stadium security seized flags, T-shirts and other items expressing support for the protest movement. that has gripped the Islamic Republic. Some fans were stopped by … Read more

World Cup fans put off by prices, beer limits commute by air

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Travel at this World Cup was supposed to be easy in the tiny host nation of Qatar, after fans had to take long flights between cities at the last three tournaments. The eight stadiums in Qatar are in or near the capital, so fans don’t have to go too far to … Read more

Israeli-Palestinian conflict catches up with Qatar World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) – It was uncharted territory for the Israeli journalist. Wandering through the rustic outdoor marketplace in Doha before the start of the World Cup, he zeroed in on a Qatari man in his traditional headdress and white flowing robe and asked for an interview. “Which channel?” the Qatari asked. The journalist replied … Read more

Remote desert camps house World Cup fans on a budget

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) – For scores of foreign soccer fans, the road to the World Cup in Doha starts every morning at a barren campsite in the middle of the desert. Visitors who found hotels in central Doha booked up or far beyond their budget have settled for the faraway, dust-blown tent village in … Read more

Amid politics, Germany’s World Cup begins against Japan

DOHA, Qatar (AP) – Germany’s opening World Cup game against Japan will set the tone for the rest of the tournament – both for the team and the fans who may or may not be watching at home. Germany’s buildup to Wednesday’s game has been fraught by fan protests, political statements, calls for a boycott … Read more

World Cup teams nix armbands that were seen as a snub to Qatar

DOHA, Qatar — FIFA’s threat of on-field punishment for players pushed World Cup teams to back down Monday and abandon a plan for their captains to wear armbands that were seen as a rebuke to the host nation Qatar’s human rights record. Just hours before the first players wearing the armbands in support of the … Read more

EXPLAINER: Islam’s ban on alcohol and how it is applied

DOHA, Qatar (AP) – Just two days before the World Cup opener, host nation Qatar banned the sale of beer at stadiums in a sudden U-turn that was criticized by some and welcomed by others. Qatari officials have long said they were eager to welcome soccer fans from around the world to the tournament, but … Read more

US returns to World Cup against Wales after 8-year wait

DOHA, Qatar — Gio Reyna, Joe Scally and Yusuf Musah were 11 years old the last time the United States took the field in a World Cup match. On the 3,066th day after that loss in Brazil, the Americans returned to soccer’s showcase with a new-look team dreaming lofty goals and hoping for actual ones. … Read more

Qatar’s World Cup opener shows its reemergence after boycott

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Qatar opened the Middle East’s first World Cup on Sunday with its ruler sitting next to the leaders of two Arab countries that only a year and a half earlier had been part of a boycott trying to bring the energy- rich nation to its knees. No leaders of major … Read more

Infantino scolds World Cup critics in an extraordinary diatribe

DOHA, Qatar (AP) – Gianni Infantino said he feels gay. That he feels like a woman. That he feels like a migrant worker. He lectured Europeans for criticizing Qatar’s human rights record and defended the host country’s last-minute decision to ban beer from World Cup stadiums. The FIFA president delivered a one-hour tirade on the … Read more