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World Cup latest: FIFA expects 5 billion viewers for Qatar World Cup

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By Martin Graham | 25th May 2022

The world football governing body, FIFA, expects the upcoming World Cup in Qatar to be watched by 5 billion people.

The 2018 World Cup held in Russia broke a record and was followed by 3.5 billion people behind various screens.

FIFA expects Qatar to trounce that record because of its uniqueness in that it is the first World Cup to be held in the Middle east. The Qatar World Cup is also the most compact World Cup, with one city housing five of the eight stadiums which will host the matches to be played at the tournament.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced the anticipated number on Monday.

The ticket sales for the World Cup too will beat all the other tournaments, as 800,000 tickets have been bought so far by fans who want to witness the action live.

There are, however, concerns over accommodation as Qatar only has 90,000 ready accommodations and are reportedly building another 50,000 at the time of writing this.

World Cup goers may have to consider coming from other countries or using alternative means of accommodation like short let apartment services and cruise liners.

Qatar touts World Cup sustainability credentials

One of the reasons the Qatar World Cup will be unique is its impact on the environment.

A number of the stadiums have been built with recyclable materials and will be taken down after the tournament and converted to parks for the locals.

All the stadiums – including the ones that will stand after the tournament – have also been made with recyclables from old construction sites. Recycling facilities are currently being fitted in all stadiums.

Bodour Al-Meer, sustainability director at Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the committee specially tasked with the World Cup logistics, said of the organising committee’s efforts at sustainability: “Our sustainability programme will deliver an amazing Fifa World and at the same time deliver tangible progress for our national 2030 ambitions as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

But she noted the challenges with recycling plastic and urged the Gulf Petrochemicals Association delegates who she spoke to at the Plastics Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to join hands with Qatar to help make it a plastic free World Cup.

“If we can use the reach of sports to encourage sustainability, we think it might be the biggest win of sports ever,” she added.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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