Fans of the Portuguese national team are best advised to head to the nearest sports pub, Source: Depositphotos

Portuguese cities ditch public World Cup fan zones to save money

Portuguese cities ditch public World Cup fan zones to save money

Not only that, but the measures would also save energy during the start of a winter of austerity

Earlier, we reported that some French cities had decided not to broadcast the 2022 World Cup football games in public areas as a form of protest against the human rights abuses incurred during the organization of the global sports tournament in Qatar. Now, local media have reported that many Portuguese municipalities have also decided to follow suit, however, their cited reason has nothing to do with politics, and all to do with pragmatism.

The local governments have simply realized that it would be easier on their budgets if they skipped the giant screens during this year’s tournament, because of the falling temperatures and the need to provide heating. At a time when authorities in most European countries are scratching their heads on ways to decrease energy consumption, it only seems logical that fan zones might seem like an unnecessary, and unsustainable, luxury. At least, until the football tournaments return to the summer season.

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Indeed, it’s an unusual time for the FIFA World Cup to be taking place, right when European cities are preparing their Christmas markets and setting up their decorated fir trees.

The mayor of Braga, Ricardo Rio, for example, told ECO that “although the municipality repudiates the lack of respect for human rights in Qatar, that is not what determines this option for not organizing the Fan Zone”. “A World Cup that takes place in the middle of winter would require a significant investment on the part of the municipality in logistics,” explained the mayor.

Likewise, Portugal’s two main cities – Lisbon and Porto – have also decided to ditch the giant screens. Although, their mayors expressed skepticism about the choice of Qatar, ultimately, they said it had to do with the need to cut down on unnecessary costs for logistics.

The Municipalities of Albufeira and Matosinhos also joined the group of frugal governments in the Iberian country. Reportedly, the Albufeira city council was confident that the local catering establishments would be better places for the people who want to watch the games in a social setting.



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