A passionate football fan from Qatar has broken the previous record for "most matches attended at a single football FIFA World Cup by an individual", after attending 44 of the 64 games during the Qatar World Cup 2022.
The fact that Hamad Abdulaziz, 39, attended over 40 matches in a single FIFA World Cup tournament shows that it was undoubtedly the result of meticulous planning, and the record is not likely to be surpassed anytime soon.
Qatar hosted four matches each day, with three hours between each kickoff. The longest distance between stadiums was 75km, which was the trip between Al Janoub in Al Wakrah and Al Bayt in Al Khor, reported The Peninsula Qatar. Subway and bus routes connected all stadiums.
Hamad, who works as a coach for the Generation Amazing Foundation, said that he dreamt of playing in the World Cup when he was a kid.
“... and as the kick-off approached, I found a way of being part of the tournament’s success while showing how well everything was organised and how easy it was to get from one stadium to another,” he told The Peninsula Qatar.
Hamad seemed to have planned this for a while. He contacted Guinness World Records before the tournament began to make sure he knew all the requirements. He was told that he would need two witnesses who would attest and confirm before and after the match that he had attended all of it.
The record-holder shared that his brother helped him throughout the process by driving him between the matches. He said that there were many "close calls" since a person could attend three matches a day, at maximum.
Thanks to his brother, he "was able to break the record, even with just an hour between the end of one match and the start of another."
It was difficult for him to convince supporters of losing teams to confirm his attendance. Sometimes, he said, the witness would leave before the match ended, which left him without a witness signature. This caused him "endless headaches" but he soon learned that he must have more than three witnesses per match.
The man happily shared that most people were very supportive, including his friends who helped him buy tickets.
Hamad joined Generation Amazing, a human and social legacy programme, in 2017. He previously worked in the banking sector and graduated with a master's degree in Islamic finance from Hamad bin Khalifa University. In 2017, he changed his career focus. Hamad is a master coach for the initiative, which uses soccer to impart important life lessons to underserved populations.
Hamad believes he is fortunate to be a part of the tournament's success.
“From helping Generation Amazing achieve 1 million beneficiaries to breaking the world record for attending matches", he said he was proud to be a part of the country's success.
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