Ready, set, goal! The wait is almost over, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup is mere days away with its opening ceremony on Sunday, November 20 at 10 pm MYT. Most of the football teams and fans have already descended on Qatar, where the prestigious tournament will be held across eight stadiums located in and around the capital city of Doha.
With the upcoming edition poised to be the most luxurious and expensive in FIFA history — and perhaps one of the most controversial — all eyes will undoubtedly be on the Middle Eastern country throughout the event, which ends on December 18. For those of you in Malaysia who are unable to be there in person (ourselves included, sadly), we’ve put together a guide to all the places in KL where you can watch the FIFA World Cup for free.
The tournament kicks off with the first game featuring Qatar vs Ecuador on November 21, 12 am MYT. You can catch the matches on television or online at home, of course, but nothing truly beats the feeling of camaraderie that comes with cheering on your favourite team while being surrounded by your friends and fellow fans. Which is where venues like boisterous sports bars, restaurants and casual mamak joints come in — you can host your own mini watch parties there without worrying about space constraints or noise levels.
Some of these places have even specially installed large screens for maximum viewing pleasure and so you don’t miss a single detail, be it that amazing hattrick, impeccable assist or sneaky foul. There’s also an abundance of delicious food and drinks to choose from — perfect for satisfying any late night cravings. And if your team is getting thrashed on the field, you won’t have to grieve alone as there’ll be others to commiserate together over ice cold beers and snacks.
Without further ado, here’s a guide to the best spots where you can watch the FIFA World Cup for free in Malaysia, specifically KL. We’ve even included a bonus venue that’s, well, up in the air. Read to the end to find out.
If you’re in Malaysia, here’s where to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup for free in KL:
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If there’s a sports bar that’s really going all out for the World Cup, it’s Souled Out. The establishment, which opened in 1996 as a cafe, has been screening FIFA matches at its multiple outlets for nearly two decades now and the World Cup trophy even made a pitstop there in 2002. During the 2010 World Cup, it even held a huge carnival-themed party for 1,500 guests and engaged fire breathers and stilt walkers to perform.
This year is no exception. Souled Out is pulling out all the stops for the 2022 edition with an event called Soccerfest, which lasts from November 20 to December 18 and sees its premises decked out in colourful flags of the 32 participating nations. No expense has been spared in guaranteeing the ultimate viewing experience — the Sri Hartamas branch features a massive 32-feet 2K LED screen. There will even be lucky draws and betting activities, where patrons can submit their predictions on the match outcomes.
It offers a wide variety of F&B options too. Feast on dishes like chicken chop, lamb shank and baked rice, and wash these down with cocktails, wines, shooters, beers and spirits.
Monday – Sunday, 12 pm – 12 am
This newly opened food court and bistro will be live-streaming all 64 matches of the FIFA World Cup in HD on a massive screen, so you can bask in all the adrenaline-pumping sporting action. To amp up the mood even more, Sky Garden will also offer all-day happy hour promotions and games, where participants stand to win prizes. Enjoy all these alongside the eatery’s repertoire of Western and local dishes, which include nasi lemak and roti canai, as well as a range of beers, wines, spirits and sakes.
Monday – Sunday, 11 am to 12 am (Hours may differ during World Cup period)
Over at Gridiron Sports Cafe & Lounge, a stalwart in the sports bar scene, chow down on tasty snacks such as fried chicken, cheese fries and nachos while tuning in to the game. The place also serves substantial fare the likes of fried rice, chimichurri ribeye steak, grilled lamb chops and pasta, if you’re intending to have your dinner there before the main highlight. It boasts an extensive drink menu of beers and cocktails like strawberry margarita and sangria. The bar is screening all 64 World Cup matches and is equipped with more than 25 screens, so you don’t have to jostle with others to get a good view.
Sunday – Thursday, 4pm – 1am
Friday – Saturday, 4pm – 2am
If a laid-back mamak joint is more your style, head over to Original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar, which operates 10 branches in KL, Selangor and Penang. Tuck into its signature nasi kandar, curries and roti while supporting your favourite team. In preparation of the World Cup, the restaurant’s owner told The Star that he has installed big screens in the outlets that have Astro subscriptions, and teamed up with a soft drinks company for promotions.
Multiple locations, opening hours vary. More details here.
Catch the opening ceremony (November 20, 9pm onwards) and matches of Qatar vs Ecuador (November 21, 12am) and England vs Iran (November 21, 9pm onwards) at Rockafellers Changkat’s live viewing parties. The restaurant has also launched a World Cup promotion where you can get a complimentary, limited edition football beer mug with every purchase of two buckets of Budweiser. Food-wise, you’re spoilt for choice as the eatery has a mouthwatering range of European and fusion fare spanning wood-fired pizzas, burgers, shepherd’s pie, devilled pork curry, pastas and more. There are also bar bites like potato wedges, calamari and onion rings, if you’re jonesing for some crispy finger food to pair with a few pints.
Monday – Sunday, 11.30am – 11.30pm
This sports bar is popular for its rambunctious vibe, beer pong tournaments and funky neon signs, and will be screening all 64 World Cup matches at its outlets in Cheras and Sri Petaling. It has rolled out a Tiger Crystal promotion, where you can snag two buckets for RM 149++ while tuning in to the games. Enjoy your beer with food options like bah kut teh, seafood tom yam hotpot, pizzas and pork belly rice.
Monday – Sunday, 11am – 2am
Sometimes nothing hits the spot better than a hearty supper of nasi kandar, maggi goreng or roti canai. Bestari at Publika serves all of these and more, along with a side of FIFA World Cup excitement via its televisions. We can’t wait to witness every goal and penalty kick while scarfing down the mamak eatery’s Indomee with Ramly burger, an ingenious (though not exactly healthy) concoction of fried noodles mixed with smashed up meat patties. Talk about a feast for our eyes and bellies.
(Image: Christian Blessing/ Google Maps)
So you’re scheduled for a slew of back-to-back business trips throughout World Cup season, and your flight timings all clash with the matches you want to catch — what a bummer, we know. If you’re flying on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777, Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A350 aircraft though, you won’t have to miss a second of the action. The official airline of the tournament provides complimentary live telecasts of the FIFA matches directly to passengers’ screens and personal devices, so you can catch every goal, assist and free kick in their full glory on your own smartphone, tablet or laptop. The planes’ inflight entertainment systems also carry over 180 football-related titles for you to stream if your favourite team is losing and you can’t bear to continue watching, but are still in the mood for other sporting content.
This article first appeared on Augustman Malaysia
(Main and Featured images: FIFA)