The Australian World Cup superfan reveals what it’s REALLY like to see the Socceroos in person: no beer, no tout in sight, air conditioning that makes you feel cold, and you won’t want to eat the food.
Soccer ‘super fan’ Peter Papoythis has revealed what it’s like to watch the Socceroos – and other nations – in person at the World Cup in Qatar.
The Sydney-based father of two attends more than a dozen live group games in the Middle East and was in the crowd for Australia’s game at Al-Janoub Stadium against France.
Papoythis, who is also the assistant coach for NPL semi-pro club Marconi Stallions in NSW, spoke to Daily Mail Australia after the final whistle, where the Les Blues went on a rampage to win 4-1.
Nothing was off limits as the soccer fan provided fascinating insight into how life works in the Gulf nation when it comes to soccer matches at the biggest sporting event on the planet.
“The atmosphere was great, both sets of fans enjoyed the moment and I didn’t see any drama,” Papoythis said, reflecting on France’s match against Australia, which he watched from seats surrounded by other Socceroos supporters.
Soccer ‘super fan’ Peter Papoythis (pictured right) has revealed what it’s like to watch the Socceroos live in Qatar at the World Cup.
When TV cameras panned to Papoythis (left, below score) ‘his phone didn’t stop vibrating’ from friends at his home in Sydney
‘I’ll say this…they do things differently here compared to back home, being non-alcoholic ‘dry’ stadiums…the food selection is quite limited, the burgers are not for me.
‘I was shocked by the ticket situation… it’s almost impossible for there to be scalpers in Qatar.
“The lines are pretty long to get into the stadiums, but once you’re on the ground, it’s all spread out.”
Papoythis also attended the England-Iran clash on Tuesday and felt the atmosphere cast a shadow over the Socceroos’ defeat.
“England was on fire, he was close to capacity and his fans loved it,” he added.
“I sat next to an Iranian couple and they got emotional during their national anthem.
“They were also very respectful, actually cheering quietly when England scored.”
The soccer fan told Daily Mail Australia that French superstar Kylian Mbappe looks even faster live than he does on TV.
Papoythis felt a surprise was on the cards when the Socceroos took a stunning 1-0 lead at Al Janoub Stadium, but it was not to be.
The air conditions in Qatar’s stadiums have puzzled some fans, but Papoythis agrees.
“You need them in the local conditions, and if you’re sitting high up, it can actually get quite cold,” he said.
It really is a carnival atmosphere and now I can’t wait to see Ronaldo play for Portugal, that will be amazing.
‘Qatar is a beautiful country, I’m having a great time.’