x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

International food feast awaits football fans

Organisers are promising food and beverages will be available for fans during the six match days.

ABU DHABI // From Singapore-style noodles to Mexican fajitas, patrons in designated fan zones will be able to enjoy cuisine from around the world when the Fifa Club World Cup kicks off next week. Six teams from six continents will join Al Ahli in the knock-out competition to be crowned club champion of the world, and organisers say regional food will be available to ticket-holders in fan zones set up outside the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium and Zayed Sports City.

Combined with concession stands inside the grounds, organisers are promising food and beverages will be available for fans during the six match days, beginning on December 9 and concluding on December 19. "We are planning for full capacity," said Shatha al Romaithi, communications manager of the local organising committee for the Club World Cup. There were reports of food and drink running low at stands outside the Yas Marina Circuit during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, particularly after the pit-lane walk on October 29, when the limited number of food stands that had opened behind the main grandstand were swamped by customers wanting to eat before the Beyoncé concert.

Club World Cup organisers say they will be ready for large crowds from the opening match and on through double-header matches on December 16, when European champions Barcelona will play at 8pm, after the match to decide fifth place; and December 19, when the championship and third-place matches are played. "We expect all games to be attended by large numbers of fans," said Ms al Romaithi. "We will ensure sufficient food and beverage are being provided to everyone."

In addition to food in the fan zones, snack items such as nachos, popcorn and soft drinks will be available in the stadiums. Alcohol will not be served. Spectators will also not be allowed to bring their own food and drink into the stadiums. mchung@thenational.ae