Doha. Football fever is not just restricted to the stadiums at this year AFC Asian Cup. Just a short distance away from the Khalifa Stadium is the Official AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011. FanZone where football lovers can immerse themselves in the event and learn more about the cultures of the various Asian countries.Set in the sprawling Aspire Park the Fan Zone features football themed activities cultural events exhibitions concerts and a flame show which is dedicated on each night to a nation playing in the tournament.
Organizers dubbed Friday as Syria Day as the country prepared to face Japan in a crucial Group B encounter. And while the Qatar Sports Club was packed to capacity, a few more Syrian fans braved the chilly conditions in Doha to watch the game on a big screen at the Fan Zone.
Things did not go according to plan for the Syrians who lost the match 2-1 but their supporters in the Fan Zone had the consolation of being able to watch a spectacular 10 minute flame show choreographed to Syrian music on the banks of the large Aspire Park lake.
Fans can refuel with cuisine from all over in the nearby food court or enjoy a mocktail like the AFC Slammer at the beach bar before touring the rest of the Fan Zone including the AFC Asian Cup Tunnel which showcases the history of the event and provides information about the competing nations.
There are also sponsor exhibits and a Fun Park which includes football themed games for young and old as well as being a venue for a series of street soccer challenges.
And not forgetting a large Concerts and Show Area which showcases modern music acts as well as cultural performers from the competing nations.
For three days from Thursday to Saturday the main entertainment is a traditional Korean performance called Samul Nori performed by a group called Noreum Machi. A number of people gathered to watch the performance which is a traditional harvest dance including Korea Republic embassy official Kim Do yeon who clearly enjoyed herself despite the cold weather.
Noreum Machi are one of the most famous traditional dance groups in Korea so it is certainly a treat to be watching them play live said Ms Kim.
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