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Authorities in Qatar have asserted that they have seized 144 counterfeit World Cup trophies following the latest raid on fakes hitting the market ahead of the football tournament that starts o November 20.
The disclosure was made on Wednesday by the interior ministry which said officers launched an operation “acting on a piece of information about a website that promotes the sale of cups that mimic the true shape of the World Cup.”
It released a photo showing the 144 life-sized trophies laid out across a floor and stated that “further legal procedures will be followed”.
The ministry did not say where the trophies were found, nor whether suspects had been detained.
Football’s governing body FIFA and Qatari authorities have stepped up warnings recently about distributing or buying World Cup fakes.
In another report, Qatari authorities had last week given a fresh directive to evict some hundreds of migrant workers from most of the buildings in central Doha which is coming on the countdown to the World Cup.
Some of the municipal workers and some security guards had reportedly moved into about 12 buildings late on Wednesday to clear and lock them, according to local residents, ahead of the tournament which would be kicking off on November 20.
The Quatari government had also revealed that the buildings were “uninhabitable”, proper notice was given, and that alternative “safe and appropriate accommodation” had been found for all evictees.
The affected area which was largely around Al-Mansoura, has been massively redeveloped in the recent years and some World Cup fans will be staying in some of the apartments in the district, where dozens of mechanical diggers are parked in the streets.
In the early hours of Saturday, Yunus, a Bangladeshi driver, slept on the back of his flat-bed truck on a street in Al Mansoura, three nights after being forced out of one block.