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Written by Martin Graham | 25 May 2022
The International Football Association (FIFA) expects that the next World Cup in Qatar will witness 5 billion people.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia broke a record and was followed by 3.5 billion people behind different screens.
FIFA expects Qatar to beat this record because of its uniqueness as the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East. The World Cup in Qatar is also the most compact World Cup, with one city home to five of the eight stadiums that will host the matches to be played in the tournament.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced the projected figure on Monday.
World Cup ticket sales will also outpace all other tournaments, with 800,000 tickets purchased so far by fans who want to watch the event live.
However, there are concerns about accommodation as Qatar only has 90,000 ready accommodations and is said to be building another 50,000 accommodation at the time of writing.
World Cup goers may have to consider coming from other countries or using alternative means of accommodation such as short apartment services and cruise liners.
Qatar promotes World Cup sustainability credentials
One of the reasons the Qatar World Cup will be so unique is its impact on the environment.
A number of stadiums have been built with recyclable materials and will be removed after the tournament and converted into parks for local residents.
All stadiums – including those that will stand after the tournament – were also made from recyclable materials from old construction sites. Recycling facilities are being set up at all stadiums.
Bodour Al Meer, Director of Sustainability at Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the committee specifically tasked with World Cup logistics, said of the Organizing Committee’s efforts in the field of sustainability: “Our sustainability program will present an amazing world in the world of FIFA and at the same time make tangible progress. To achieve our 2030 national ambitions as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
But she noted the challenges facing plastic recycling and urged the Gulf Petrochemical Association delegates she spoke to at the plastics conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to collaborate with Qatar to help make it a plastic-free world cup.
“If we can use the field of sport to encourage sustainability, we think it could be the biggest gain for sport ever,” she added.