The FIFA World Cup in Qatar has been a roller-coaster ride with many surprises. From underdog teams taking on past tournament favourites to popular players, the limelight has graced many. Yet, nothing beats the street cats of Doha making star appearances at the showpiece event! Whether it is press conferences, team bases, or places where players go out to have food, the felines are everywhere. Players and netizens alike are enjoying their presence at the mega-tournament.
Reuters posted a video on Twitter showing how cats have gate-crashed the tournament, making it a ‘Cat-ar World Cup’. In the video, the furry animals nonchalantly are strutting and stretching, well, everywhere! Grass or tile, there’s a feline around somewhere.
🐈 With impromptu visits to stadiums, training sessions and press conferences, cats are stealing the limelight at the #FIFAWorldCup in Qatar pic.twitter.com/6qELYIQcLw— Reuters (@Reuters) December 9, 2022
The video shows a cat sitting at Brazil’s Vinicius Jr’s press conference table, enjoying being pet before it is (netizens say, rudely) thrown off by the manager. The manager received a large dose of criticism online for treating the cat that way. One user even said, “that’s it! Animal abuse. Straight to Jail!”
That’s it! Animal abuse. Straight to Jail!— Paulo🇨🇦🇵🇹⚽️🏆🙏 (@nine0five) December 9, 2022
Alleged counts of animal abuse aside, there have been some pretty hilarious and heartening player reactions to cats, too!
For instance, French footballer Randal Kolo Muani spoke about how teammate Ousmane Dembele is scared of cats. “There are cats who roam outdoors. When we eat outdoors, there are cats strolling around. And Ousmane is scared of them,” Kolo Muani said before adding that “it makes everyone laugh.”
The Three Lions’ Kyle Walker said that a cat called “Dave” has become the team’s “lucky charm”. The wing-back said that the cat resides at the England squad’s World Cup base and that the team has promised to take it back home with them if they manage to win the World Cup!
Aside from the players, netizens are also enjoying these furry friends stealing the stage at the tournament.
“They’re gonna rock that town,” one user commented, while another wrote “Cats are awesome. Yay cats!” Whoever wins the trophy, these furry creatures of Qatar have already won everyone’s hearts.
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