Qatari fan sets a world record for most games attended at a FIFA World Cup

Qatari fan sets a world record for most games attended at a FIFA World Cup

QLNews
By QLNews

The 2022 FIFA World Cup, the first ever to take place in the Middle East, broke records of all kinds when it ended on December 18.

And now, a die hard Qatari football fan — Hamad Abdulaziz — has written his own name in the Guinness Book of World Records for attending 44 of the 64 World Cup games in the country.

The 39-year-old’s detailed planning helped him achieve the incredible feat, which is unlikely to be broken in the future.

Qatar had hosted the most compact edition of the FIFA World Cup in history, with all eight stadiums just an hour’s journey from central Doha. The country staged four games a day during the tournament’s early stages, with three hours between each kick-off. Thanks to well-connected stadiums and efficient transport systems in place, Abdulaziz was able to achieve the World Record.

“Growing up, I dreamt of playing in the World Cup. With the tournament’s kick-off approaching, I found a way to be a part of it’s success while showing how well everything was organised and how easy it was to get from one stadium to another,” said Hamad, who grew up in Al Wakrah and works as a coach for the Generation Amazing Foundation.

Hamad contacted Guinness World Records ahead of the tournament to ensure he would meet their criteria. Two witnesses certified he had attended the entirety of every match, with the forms being signed ahead of kick-off and after the final whistle.

“Upon examining the schedule, I found I could attend three matches a day. There were a lot of close calls, but with the help of my brother, who drove me between matches, I was able to break the record. Sometimes, there was just an hour between the end of one match and the start of another,” said Hamad.

Getting the fans of losing teams to attest his attendance was a challenge.

“At times, the witness would end up leaving before the final whistle, leaving me without a signature. This caused me endless headaches. I quickly learned to get three or four witnesses for every match. In general, everyone was supportive, including some close friends who helped me buy tickets to make my dream come true.”

Having graduated with a Master’s degree in Islamic Finance from Hamad bin Khalifa University, Hamad previously worked in the finance industry before switching his career focus and joining Generation Amazing – a Qatar 2022 human and social legacy programme – in 2017.

Hamad is a master coach for the programme, which leverages football to teach key life skills in marginalised communities.

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