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The World Cup in Qatar, which begins in six months when Senegal plays the Netherlands at the Al Thumama Stadium, is surrounded by considerable uncertainty. It is not just about human rights. It’s also about how many spectators will attend the tournament. And what should they anticipate occurring?
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The first question is crucial, but there is no definitive response. However, the signs point in a clear direction and a festival of football fans from all over the world in the Persian Gulf appears unlikely. At the time of writing, 800,000 match tickets had already been purchased.
This represents slightly more than a quarter of the total number of seats, approximately 3.1 million. Four years ago, fans in Russia purchased 2.5 million tickets for an event that could hold just over 3 million people. If organizers want to match or even come close to that number, they will need additional effort.
At the end of this month, Fifa will announce the results of its second round of ticket sales. The governing body reported receiving 23,500,000 ticket requests as part of this procedure.
Observers note, however, that this does not necessarily indicate that anyone will purchase a ticket and that tickets for knockout matches can be sold multiple times, with refunds given to ticket holders whose teams are eliminated along the way.
Reports from various nations appear to support the global picture. Tickets for England’s group games and potential knockout games are still available.
Two of the three ticket categories are sold out for all but the game against (possibly) Scotland or Wales. According to reports from France, the assistance they receive while traveling will be less than one-fourth of what it was in Russia.
When a person receives a ticket, the second period of uncertainty begins. Having a ticket is a prerequisite for requesting a “Hayya Card” from the Qatari government, required for entry.
Before then, you cannot book a flight, and you must visit the Qatar Accommodation Agency to find a place to stay. Since its online portal launched in March, there has been some confusion regarding the available room types and prices.
Most of the time, it is impossible to find lodging for $80 per night. Fan Village Cabins begin at $200 per night, while AirBnB-style apartments start at approximately $1,000 per night. It is unclear how these options will change drastically once the second sales phase is confirmed.
Fans of football do the math. Europe believes this will be the most expensive World Cup for traveling fans. The numbers indicate that staying for three group games will cost €2,770, as opposed to €1,000 during Russia 2018. Staying for the duration of the tournament will cost approximately €6,500.
The CEO of FSE, Ronan Evain, states, “It is evident that most fans are unaware of how much the World Cup will cost them.” “Before booking a flight or hotel room, tickets must be purchased. This implies that you must pay to determine the cost.
“There is never enough information regarding the procedure, and what is available is difficult to comprehend because nothing is written clearly. Fifa and Qatar are making every effort to prevent people from attending.”
Low-cost tickets are only available to Qatari citizens. Fans from neighboring nations can also fly in, but not for every game (and flights from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Doha, Qatar, to watch Belgium play Canada begin at £500 round-trip).
The Qatari Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, which is in charge of organizing the tournament, remains confident that it will be a worldwide success. A spokesperson stated, “More than one million people are anticipated to attend the tournament.” The host country will provide up to 130,000 rooms, or 3.6 million room nights.
Six months before the start of the tournament, Qatar is on track to offer football fans from all over the world a variety of unique and affordable places to stay. Nobody is concerned that demand will exceed supply.”
Little is known about fan behavior in Qatar. People had high hopes for two enormous fan parks to be permitted to sell alcohol. According to the Supreme Committee, these plans are still under development, and additional information will be provided “in due course.”
“Fans will have access to Qatar’s world-class museums and traditional souks, as well as traditional street food, beaches, and desert adventures,” said the spokesperson.