Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Footage showed a heated exchange during the World Cup opening match before tensions were eased

A pair of rival fans from Qatar and Ecuador have found some common ground after a clip showing them engaged in a heated argument went viral online during Sunday's World Cup opening match.

Host nation Qatar came up short in their first fixture at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, losing 2-0 to South American team Ecuador in what was the most high-profile game in the nation's history to date - but while some fans were in a celebratory mood in the stands, others weren't quite so enthusiastic.

Ecuador's traveling supporters were enthralled when captain Enner Valencia bagged the two crucial goals in the first half which proved enough to claim a hugely valuable three points in Group A, but one fan was handed a furious dressing down from a Qatari supporter after appearing to make a 'money' gesture with his hands - apparently in reference to accusations of bribery which have become associated with the tournament.

The Ecuador fan, who appeared to be attending the match with his young family, also seemed to be told to "sit down and shut up" by the Qatari supporter in the video which has been viewed nearly 30 million times in less than 24 hours.

The incident spread without specific context on social media, but may have come shortly after Ecuador had an early goal disallowed for offside in controversial circumstances.

The South American and other supporters are then seen attempting to calm proceedings - with these efforts apparently paying off as the two fans were later seen in a subsequent video embracing one another.

"Sometimes passion makes people upset," he can be heard saying in the second clip.

"But we come together for sport, sport brings people together, we are very friendly with each other and I wish Qatar the best.

"It is a beautiful World Cup so far and you guys are so friendly I love it."

The Qatari supporter also seems to apologize for his outburst, saying: "This is Peter, he is an Ecuadorian, he is here to watch the match today.

"In the end, we are all here to watch this beautiful game."

Ecuador are next in action on Friday when they play the Netherlands, while Qatar will attempt to open their account against AFCON champions Senegal.

READ MORE: Hosts Qatar beaten in World Cup opener


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