With the world cup being held in winter due to the extreme heat in Qatari summers, students at Baltimore City College faced the task of cheering on their favorite team while at school. Students used various solutions to deal with their task at hand. One solution was watch parties. During lunch and free periods, students could be seen crowding around a single screen to watch the game.
When recounting the Croatia-Brazil quarterfinal match, one student said “I felt an excitement that I don’t feel often while watching sports. There was something about being crowded and cheering together.”
In every match, you could find students cheering for both sides. With Baltimore City College’s diverse student body, there were bound to be fans of so many different countries watching the games.
“It was amazing to see everyone come together to watch. I was sitting next to people who were cheering for so many different countries across the globe. It was a spectacular show of diversity at City,” a freshman soccer fan described.
While there was a large number of students watching the games, a handful of students boycotted the World Cup due to the human rights violations committed by Qatar during the construction of the stadiums. Due to the lack of infrastructure, Qatar was forced to build multiple stadiums and hotels to host the teams and the fans. Workers were often denied routing medical care and forced to share living spaces with other workers.
“I don’t agree with the Qatari government’s policies so I [didn’t] watch the games,” one student against the World Cup shared the reason for why they didn’t watch the games. This opposition against the World Cup could be found all over the world, as many people were enraged by Qatar’s human rights violations.
The next World Cup will be held in North America during 2026.