Fans of Al Rayyan and Al Sadd have been urged to arrive early for this week's 'Qatar Classico' set to take place at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
The eagerly-awaited annual clash - to take place on December 10 - is expected to draw a full house at the state-of-the-art Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
Qatar Stars League (QSL) points leaders Al Rayyan will be visiting title aspirants Al Sadd who are playing under a new coach.
Match organisers have promised 'top-notch family entertainment' activities at the venue but have urged fans to be in early for the 18:30 kick-off.
Hassan al-Kuwari, Head of Events and Hospitality, QSL, said on Monday:
"We request the supporters to be here early. And if they find a gate closed then that means that that section of the stadium is full and the spectators should move to the other gates. But arriving early is the key."
Al Kuwari said Doha was buzzing with excitement in the lead-up to the clash on Thursday.
"There is a lot of anticipation among the fans regarding the Qatar Clasico between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan. The QSL management, the teams and the security people are all coming together to ensure that it's a memorable experience for the large number of supporters that are expected to turn up for the match," Al Kuwari said.
"This match will be a great way to showcase the passion of the fans in Qatar. Both teams have very good players," Al Kuwari said on Monday.
"Al Rayyan have 11 wins in a row and to have Al Sadd's Xavi on the field will help us get more audience around the world for this game.
It's a reference game for us to show the world how football in Qatar is. We also want to send a positive message regarding our ability to organise such a big game," Al-Kuwari said.
Al Kuwari said there will be entertainment zones that will open at 16:00, at least two and a half hours before the start of the game.
"There will be raffle prizes for the supporters and the draw will take place during half time," Al Kuwari said.
"We are also hoping to make things easy for the fans," he said..
Al-Kuwari also praised the fans in Qatar and stressed that the management didn't feel the need to put up any barricades to separate the fans of the two sides.
"Football fans in Qatar know how to support their teams without causing problems. They believe in fair play even in the stands. We have to focus on giving a good image of Qatari football," said Al-Kuwari.
With a match of such big magnitude, the preparations had begun a week ago to ensure that all goes smoothly during the game, officials revealed on Monday.
"We started preparations a week ago. We are looking to set an example with this game. We have put competence staff at the match venue to ensure a smooth game," Ahmed Al-Adsani, Head of Competitions Deaprtment, QSL, said on Monday.
Crowd trouble has never been an issue in Qatar and Mubarak Bilal, Head of Venue Security, wished to thank the fans for 'their positive attitude'.
"We know that we haven't had any problems in the past. That is why we don't need to separate the fans of two teams. It's a good thing for Qatar and I thank our supporters for this approach," Bilal said on Monday.
The two club representatives present encouraged their respective fans to turn up in large numbers and also indulged in some good-natured banter.
"We welcome Al Rayyan fans to our stadium. Al Sadd supporters will not need any special invitation for a game like this and they will show up in large numbers. The position of the two teams in the table will not matter and we are hoping for a good game," Jassem bin Ali, Sadd's Marketing Officer, said on Monday.
Sahan Al-Shammari, Marketing Officer for Al Rayyan, was hoping that this match creates a record in terms of fan attendance.
"Al Rayyan supporters will be here in large numbers. We want to see a record number of fans in this Qatar Clasico. We also want to show a good image of the supporters in Qatar," Al-Shammari said.
And then he cheekily added: "For the neutral supporters, I invite them to support Al Rayyan."
The game on Thursday kicks off at 18:30.
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