From Paris to Doha, two football fans to attend Qatar 2022 one pedal at a time

From Paris to Doha, two football fans to attend Qatar 2022 one pedal at a time

The Peninsula

Two avid football fans are on track to reach Qatar by cycling across ten countries to witness football's biggest tournament, FIFA World Cup 2022, set to take place in the country from November 20 to December 18, 2022.

It was on August 20 this year that the 26-year-olds, Mehdi from Caen and Gabriel from Bordeaux, departed from Paris and took on the challenge to pedal 8,000 kilometres on their bicycles, with only panniers and two tents in hand. 

Travelling by bike, the two friends took up the challenge to cross ten countries to reach the host nation and support France's football team as well as get a first-hand experience on the World Cup festivities in the country.

After crossing France, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, the two have reached Turkey and are expected to soon enter the Middle East.

In a video message shared by Institut français du Qatar, Mehdi and Gabriel said: "Welcome to the Institut Français in Qatar, we are Mehdi and Gabriel, we left Paris on August 20. We will travel 8,000 km to reach Doha. We are going in the right direction but we still have a long way to go and we are glad to have you accompany us!".

The pair met a year ago in Italy during the UEFA Nations League with France. From there an adventurous idea was born to travel by bike and attend the World Cup. The friends also shared that this journey is rooted from their passion for football and cycling. 

As of September 26, Mehdi and Gabriel are travelling through Turkey. They have just left Istanbul and are heading to Tasucu after recuperating in Konya. 

Sharing route maps and photographs in notable landmarks, the pair is documenting their journey via mondialavelo on Instagram. 

Through this journey, Mehdi and Gabriel aim to highlight the benefits of slow travel, "hoping to give rise to travel ideas, in France, in Europe or even in the world" as well as let young people discover the advantages of the activity.