England fans sing ‘It’s Coming Home’ and insist they are the real deal amid claims of ‘fake fans' in Qatar

16 November 2022, 10:11 | Updated: 16 November 2022, 10:20

Qatar has been accused of bringing in fake fans to whip up excitement ahead of the World Cup
Qatar has been accused of bringing in fake fans to whip up excitement ahead of the World Cup. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Asher McShane

Viral clips of football supporters cheering excitedly ahead of the start of the World Cup have been accused of featuring ‘fake fans’ in an effort to whip up excitement.

Football experts have insisted some of the groups of supporters are real fans, made up of expats in Qatar who are fervently cheering on England, but fan groups have nonetheless accused Qatar’s officials of hiring ‘fakes' to build up atmosphere ahead of the opening of the World Cup on Sunday.

Scenes of fan parades have begun circulating online ahead of the start of the tournament - featuring fans in England, Germany, Brazil, and Argentina kits and waving flags excitedly ahead of the tournament.

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England arrived at the hotel in Doha to a chorus of “It’s coming home” delivered by a group of fans wearing England kit.

“Southgate is our super coach, Sterling is our super star, Pickford is our super keeper,” the fans sang, according to The Times.

One of the fans told the paper that any suggestion the fans were fake was “fake news”.

“If someone offered to pay us to support England we would turn them down. We are genuine supporters,” he said.

But other people were more sceptical. One wrote online: “The fact they’re wearing shirts that aren’t real and a flag saying “England Fans” definitely doesn’t seem odd.”

Another said: “I swear they're paying the workers to be fans at this point. I've seen them supporting like seven different countries.”

Another TikTok user said: “Saw them all dressed as Brazil fans yesterday.”

One twitter used said: “World Cup from Wish. Ex pats made out to be true England fans. Surely this can’t get any worse?”

An online channel named Qatari Living shared footage of fans from various countries.

One of the clips circulating online shows fans singing “England, England” while dancing in a circle.

Another clip, that has been viewed nearly 700,000 times online, shows a group of fans in England colours tunelessly singing “It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming home” Fans have responded with scepticism to many of the videos.

A clip of Germany fans walking down the street carrying a banner that reads “Germany fans Qatar” has also caused scepticism.

In a clip showing Portugal fans, people can be seen bouncing up and down and performing Cristiano Ronaldo's trademark 'Siu' celebration. Many were wearing 'Ronaldo 7' shirts.

Other viewers noticed a lack of female football fans in the clips.

However other people suggested the groups of fans could be genuine groups of fans made up from migrant workers who are still in Qatar in the lead-up to the tournament.

There has been no comment from Qatari officials yet on the claims.

It comes after it emerged a group of England fans will be paid by Qatar to attend the World Cup and chant ‘on command’ at matches. Welsh supporters also signed up to the scheme.

Forty fans from each of the countries will be told they must deliver positive messages about Qatar, sit together and wave flags for the TV cameras.

In a separate development, an accredited Danish TV crew was ordered to stop filming in a street and faced threats of having their camera smashed after being confronted in a street by a group of men who wanted them to stop filming.

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