Qatar-strophic: Fans to get full refund for terrible run-down World Cup huts which cost them hundreds of pounds

24 November 2022, 12:41 | Updated: 24 November 2022, 12:53

Football fans have had to queue for shoddy accommodation at the World Cup
Football fans have had to queue for shoddy accommodation at the World Cup. Picture: Twitter

By Kit Heren

Football fans are finally going to get a full refund for the shoddy accommodation they paid hundreds of pounds a night for, after Qatari officials decided to pay up.

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Reports of the terrible state of the cabins in the 'fan villages' that supporters have been staying in for the World Cup have flooded in since the build-up to the tournament.

Fans have paid as much as £185 a night for the accommodation in Fan Village Cabins Zafaran and Fan Village Cabins Free Zone - but have been forced to queue for hours to get in, or use leaky toilets in some cases.

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Others have complained about the fan villages being strewn with industrial machinery as they moved in.

Fans shared images of their shoddy housing
Fans shared images of their shoddy housing. Picture: Twitter

One supporter abandoned his cabin because of the poor conditions, despite having paid £2,500 for it.

Now fans will get a full refund and free accommodation.

A spokesperson for the Qatar World Cup supreme committee said: "We are aware that a number of fans have faced delays checking into select Fan Village accommodation due to owner and operator negligence.

Supporters complained of long queues to get into their accommodation
Supporters complained of long queues to get into their accommodation. Picture: Twitter

"A section of units in these facilities, which are delivered and managed by different private entities, have not met the required standards that were advertised to fans.

"While these sites are managed by independent commercial entities, rectifying these issues remains the utmost priority for the Supreme Committee.

"Full refunds are being offered to fans severely impacted by this issue as well as alternative accommodation which will be free of charge for the duration of their stay."

Fans complained of long queues to get into their cabins
Fans complained of long queues to get into their cabins. Picture: Twitter

Fans have also complained of dodgy cabin facilities, living areas looking like building sites, and faulty air conditioning leaving them trying to sleep in temperatures nearing 40 C.

One supporter told the Sun: "This is outrage and now looking for other options as we have officially been robbed.

"Checking in at Zafaran is an absolute disaster. Waiting for over four hours for a room."

Another fan said the Free Zone Fan Village was a "complete disaster".

"People had been waiting for over four hours and all the staff just disappeared saying most of the rooms aren't ready or people haven't previously checked out."

He said he had arrived at the fan village at 10am, but had not been given his room until 4pm - six hours later.

The fan village before supporters arrive
The fan village before supporters arrive. Picture: Getty

Police were reportedly called to the site to keep order among the frustrated fans, who also complained of terrible public transport links.

The 'World Cup Fans' Twitter account posted a long thread detailing complaints of supporters living in the fan villages.

"Hundreds of fans from different countries of the world who have confirmed reservations in the fan villages suffered and are still suffering from mismanagement of the fan villages," the account wrote.

The fan zone at the World Cup
The fan zone at the World Cup. Picture: TikTok

It went on: "The majority of the rooms have been received and are in a dirty state in the full sense of the word and are not suitable for human habitation.

"The majority of cabins have a problem with air conditioning, and there is no solution, and they have become more like sauna rooms, especially during the day."

Images of the fan villages shared on social media show heaps of sand and rubble at the 'fan village', industrial machines left strewn around the site, and ripped up turf.

The Rawdat Al Jahhaniya fan village, where tens of thousands of England and Wales fans are staying, is also missing a promised cinema screen and tennis court.

A 'fitness centre' is actually just a few items of outdoor equipment, while the site is also marked by a giant crater.

Food will be served in a large tent, and a Starbucks van will also be on site.The cabins themselves are fitted with tiny air conditioning units that do not cool the rooms properly and are too loud to keep on at night, fans said.

One supporter said in a video posted to TikTok: "This is what £185 a night gets you in the Qatar World Cup fan village. Good luck getting any rest.

'I'm sure FIFA are regretting ever awarding the World Cup to Qatar.'

"The noise of the air conditioner [that doesn't keep the container cool during the day] helps drown out the rest of the racket."

People variously compared the site to jail and quarantine.

Commenting on the video, one fan said: "Looks more like quarantine camp, while another added: "Bros paid money to go into quarantine."

"Kind of looks like a Swedish prison," a third said.Another user said: "I've been on work locations in middle of nowhere with better conditions and they paid me."

Others even compared the conditions for fans in Qatar infamous Fyre Festival."It took 5 yrs but they finally got the FYRE festival villas complete,' one fan joked. 

"You got a porta cabin what more you want?" one person said.

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Meanwhile the Times has reported accounts of two builders. who worked on the site, who called the accommodation "dreadful".

One said: "It has been hell. The aircon in the cabin barely works and sounds like a (fighter jet) is taking off. Even if you have it on all the time during the day it is still 27C. You can't have it on at night because it is so noisy."

"They are rock hard so you might as well sleep on the floor,' he said. 'I have never been somewhere so uncomfortable. We have been here for 10 days and it is a nightmare.

"It might be OK if you want to rough it for a night or two, but any longer would be dreadful".