From Northern Maine to Qatar

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) – Soccer fans from all over the world are in Qatar for the World Cup soccer tournament. Former University of Maine Fort Kent men’s basketball Coach Tom Bird attended three games this week and said the experience has been something he will remember for the rest of his life.

Tom Bird):”Being here in a different culture is something that I never experienced before. It was really amazing to be around a ton of different nationalities. We stayed with an Indian family in Qatar. We rode a bus with somebody from Saudi Arabia, sat next to a guy from Wales, Just met and talked with so many people from so many different countries. It was a life-changing experience.”

Bird not only attended three games, but also took in some of the sites and culture of the Country and said the people were very welcoming

Bird: “The people have been welcoming and very kind.”

He said there is a lot of security in the cities and around the venues

Bird:” Every crosswalk every road, every subway everything you could think of there were several security guards around and felt very safe.”

Bird has been to a lot of sports events over the years, and this rates at the top of the list for the experience

Bird:” Been to some major Sporting events and Final Fours, but nothing that compares to the three games I was at. I had never been to a professional soccer match, let alone one with 60 thousand people. Bale made the penalty kick and they hadn’t been to the World Cup since 1954. You had people sitting beside you in tears because they were so happy to be there. Then they tied the Mighty US team, it was an incredible experience. The crowds were just incredible, especially today’s game with Morocco and Croatia. The crowd was full of Moroccan fans and just chants and songs and it brings goosebumps.”

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