The political tension between UAE and Qatar have found it’s way into the sports industry whereby Qataris have been barred from entering the country to support their team, and the UAE buying all remaining tickets of the AFC Asian Cup semi-final to reserve for Emiratis only, and the Omani people are not happy about this.
No Qatari supporter is allowed to enter the UAE due to political ties being severed between the UAE and Qatar, which earlier resulted in all Qataris to be deported from the country. Many have critisized this move as unfair, unprofessional and a way to “politicise” the sport.
However, Omanis seem to be cheering mainly for Qatar to win, contrary to the countries’ official political stance, and they have vowed all over social media to drive down to the UAE and take the fight to the streets in support of the Qatari team.
It seems the Omanis have not been happy about the Emirati supporters’ online threats of violence and agression against the Qatari team players, who will find themselves all alone in a country and a stadium with practically no one to support them, and have decided to show up and even the playing field.
The UAE has had a great track record in ensuring safety in these type of matches, but it may prove difficult when it comes to Omanis being thrown into the mix due to the fact that they are citizens of a gulf alliance country, and their faces are very similar to Emiratis, which could be a safety/security breach in a way, specially if they are coming with anger and hostility.
The AFC said it expects “all supporters, players and teams to be well behaved” during the tournament.
“Any infringement of the rules will be dealt with under the AFC regulations,” the Asian football body previously told Al Jazeera in an emailed statement.