England’s WAGs already seem to have their towels on some of the best sun loungers in Qatar, helping to make it look like this World Cup would be particularly bad to miss.
Partners of English and French players have booked Banana Island, a luxury spot 25 minutes by boat from the Doha waterfront, according to the venue’s commercial director. Those with children have their eyes set on the larger chalets which can accommodate five people. Perks include a helipad, if they prefer that over engine cranking, with white leather seats, free appointments, and cold flannels.
These £6,000-a-night chalets, built on stilts in the Arabian Sea, won’t offer a total escape from hoi polloi.
Anyone can take the boat and pay £100 to enjoy the resort pool and beach. But with a cinema, a surfing pool with a wave machine and scuba diving lessons, it all rather helps to make England’s partners feel way ahead of the rest when it comes to looking for accommodation for group B.
This is the luxurious setting where England’s partners will be staying in Qatar for the World Cup
The Sea Chalets will provide a picturesque setting for WAGs participating in the tournament
England’s partners Kieran Trippier, Jordan Pickford and Harry Maguire left for Qatar
Gareth Southgate players have arguably the best base of the lot, escaping the traffic and high-rises of Doha for the cool class of a hotel converted from old pearl-fisherman’s cottages, with thick weather-resistant walls. the heat, in the traditional souk district in Al Wakra, upstream from Doha.
There will be no newspaper pictures of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Co on an inflatable unicorn at this location. They’ve never put a pool there because they want to preserve its “heritage property” status – a holdover from the days of just 70 years ago, before their lucrative oil and liquefied petroleum gas when Qatar was just a small stretch of sand. by the Arabian Sea.
But the five-star Tivoli Hotel, built on the beach, will keep it real for Southgate players. They’ll wake up to see the old wooden beams of old cottages overhead and watch the camels go by if they decide to eat at the array of seaside restaurants that are within walking distance of their homes. bedrooms.
The old souk market adjoins the hotel with a fleet of gold carts on hand to enjoy the gold and bird markets. Southgate will be happy to know that hotel staff are driving.
The England squad will vacillate in Doha and stay at the luxurious five-star Tivoli hotel
The hotel will be closed from the end of October to prepare for the reception of the team, when there will no longer be a separate dining area for those who smoke shisha. The intricate work of cleaning up the tile mosaic of the common fountain where players can relax was seen by Sportsmail last week. The most expensive rooms here are usually £250 a night.
It felt a lot less last minute than the scene around the newly completed Wales team hotel in the not-yet-open West Bay skyrise, and set in the middle of just under A construction site.
The Delta City Center hotel has been fully furnished and is a short half hour drive east of the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium where Wales have the advantage of playing all of their group matches.
But unless construction works conclude quickly, players will be greeted by excavators, dug-out roads and sidewalks, as they take up residence in the glass skyscraper. Sportsmail last week found a makeshift security shack in the center of a building site between the hotel and the seafront corniche, with only one employee there.
Gareth Southgate hopes England’s cool and calm base will help his players relax
The American team, also in the English group, have the most upmarket residence – the Marsa Malaz Kempinski – although they will have to share it with the residents. It’s too big to close the whole place for them.
Americans can tap into the psychological boost of knowing they are playing on the green, green grass of their homes. The turf of all World Cup stadiums has its origins in the state of Georgia.
“American grass seed gives you a more robust playing surface,” David Graham of Aspire Turf, Qatar 2022 pitch manager, told ESPN. “With the climate and conditions in Qatar, the playing surface wouldn’t hold up without the right grass seed.”
The existing playing surfaces were removed two weeks ago and the new seed laid, with water pumped through pipes laid under the pitches around the clock to ensure optimum growing temperature.
Playing temperatures are unlikely to be an issue due to the decision to push the tournament back to November, which usually brings gray skies, sunny spells and high temperatures of around 23°C (73°F) .
There will be no repeat unicorns as there is no swimming pool set up at their base
But sophisticated air-conditioning systems, planned at a time when it looked like the tournament would take place in scorching heat in June, are also in place to ensure temperatures on the pitch are regulated for the players.
Underground sensors measuring heat and humidity will allow for that degree of control, along with pitchside vents calibrated to blow blasts of air that players arriving to take throw-ins won’t feel. Seat-level air vents will also allow fans to watch matches at 21-22°C.
Managers may feel like their media duties are slightly less strenuous given that for the first time all pre-match press conferences will be held in one place, at the upmarket resort of Pearl, north of central Doha.
Some players will make their feelings known about the human rights abuses that have contributed to all of this. The human cost will always taint the competition that is about to unfold.
It is impossible to consider the feats of architecture and engineering that went into building stadiums and hotels without remembering the immigrants who worked hard to build them and the roads, bridges and halls in a heat scorching, before returning to dirty and cold accommodation blocks. Many died.
Both Harry Kane and his wife will enjoy lavish accommodation during the winter
Most workers will be gone, by state order, for the duration of the tournament, although gardeners and cleaning staff are expected to stay.
Seeing them laying sidewalks and watering the grass on the Corniche in the scorching late afternoon heat two weeks ago was a reminder of the toil.
Qataris are testy about it. At a hastily organized press conference to mark the launch of Lusail Stadium, they insisted their country had been misrepresented and said there had been no human rights issue.
The notoriously opaque Home Office is not used to answering questions about unpleasant matters. When we tried to ask the officials at the press conference about the security issues, they told us that they hadn’t heard what we asked, but that we tried to rephrase the question, the next was being asked.
On Banana Island, where the cinema and bowling alley were in preparation for the WAGs last week, no one will know anymore about the real pain that immigrant workers have endured.
England come into this year’s World Cup in Qatar as one of the favorites to lift the trophy