Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Asian Cup 2011

The Asian Cup (soccer for those not in the know) took place in Qatar this year, so we took the opportunity to attend a few games. This was very exciting as a forerunner to the recently announced World Cup 2022 that will take place in Qatar. There was a lot of time and effort put into the Asian Games, but I think they learned there will be much more to prepare for 2022.

Because of Travis' background in Japanese, we chose to attend an earlier game with Japan playing. They played Korea (red) and are pictured below in blue (fans to match). The two crowds were very entertaining with drums and bull horns galore.

You see that though the picture above looks very full, the stadium was much more sparse in other sections (see below). You will also see the line-up of photographers. If you had a large camera, you better be sure you were down in that row wearing a fancy orange vest. Otherwise, you could be questioned and have your camera confiscated. I am not sure if they were concerned about pictures being taken of local women, but we watched this happen to a very innocent seeming Japanese man with a giant lens sitting in front of us.

Leoni got in on the fun as well.


Beating the thunder sticks

We saw the mascots at Souq Waqif during the games. They looked like rats to me, but we later found out they were actually a desert rodent. There were five, all representing different regions of Qatar as well as characteristics of athletes. If I find our program with the info, I'll scan it and add it here.

We attended another game (Saudi vs. Qatar) with our friends the Priedemans. It was a very cold and rainy (uncommon) game, so attendance was pretty low, but Leoni enjoyed it. She mostly enjoyed the mini Reeses cups the Priedemans brought with them.

Travis also attended a semi-final game with the YM between Australia and Uzbekistan.

I love this abayaed woman (below) getting into the spirit of the game.

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