AROUND 60 Spanish handball fans will obliged to cheer against their own country at this year’s handball world championships.
As special guests of the Qatar Handball Association, they have been flown into the Gulf state – all expenses paid – in order to create a noisy atmosphere thanks to their reputation as the best and loudest supporters in the game.
Qatar are to meet Spain – the defending champions – during the tournament, but the hardcore Spanish fans won’t be cheering on their home country.
“They are paying for the flights, lodging and full board in a good hotel, they are granting the fans access to watch the whole world cup,” said Samuel Ruiz, president of Furia Conquense, one of the Spanish supporters’ groups. “It is a good enough offer to make you cheer them on in their matches, even if they are playing against Spain. It’s all paid for by Qatar so those are the ones we have to support.”
Most of the travelling Spaniards are from the Furia Conquense group who pride themselves on being the biggest and most musical handball fan club in Spain. They use saxophones, drums and trumpets to cheer on their team during matches, and Ruiz said they have rehearsed English-language versions of their team songs for the world cup.
The tournament started on Friday (January 16) and runs until February 1.