Qatar has spent a staggering £200bn hosting this year’s World Cup… almost 20 times what Russia spent on 2018’s edition.
The controversial tournament is set to start on November 20 amid infrastructure problems – despite the host’s lavish spending.
Qatar’s £200bn (£185bn) outlay dwarfs the £11.6bn (£10.7bn) Russia poured into hosting the last World Cup.
The highest spend to date has been the £15bn (£13.8bn) spent by Brazil in 2014, while South Africa had spent £3.6bn (£3.3bn) four years earlier.
Germany’s 2006 World Cup cost £4.3bn (£4bn), while Korea and Japan together spent £7bn (£6.5bn) in 2002.
France 1998 cost £2.3bn (£2.1bn) and USA spent half a billion dollars (£460,000) for their 1994 tournament.
England fans have complained about a lack of accommodation, and not without reason.
As of March this year, there were just 30,000 hotel rooms in Qatar…although more than a million fans are expected during the tournament.
Even more frustrating for fans, 80 percent of these rooms have been booked by FIFA to house teams, sponsors and their own bigwigs.
Qatar has built seven brand new, state-of-the-art arenas for the tournament while modernizing the older Khalifa International Stadium.
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However, fans flocking to these new stadiums may not even spend a full 24 hours in Qatar.
Neighbors Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Kuwait expect fans to head out to find cheaper accommodation.
Fans can fly from Dubai to Doha on one of 50 daily shuttle planes – with UAE officials believing they can attract around a million visitors during their neighbours’ tournament.
Of Qatar’s massive $200 billion, only $6.5 billion (£6 billion) is said to have been spent on stadiums, team bases and facilities for fans.
Fatma Al Nuaimi, Communications Executive Director of the tournament, tried to explain where the rest of the money went: “Meanwhile, the World Cup is part of the Qatar National Vision 2030, a broader government strategy to encourage intensive development of city and national facilities and industry and education and health systems.
“The $200 billion figure often associated with the World Cup is indeed part of this ambitious strategy for Qatar’s national development and modernization.
“Most of these major infrastructure projects that will be used by teams and fans in 2022, such as new roads, a subway, an airport, hotels and other tourist facilities, were planned even before we got the right to host the World Cup.
We are sure that everyone who visits Qatar in 2022 will be delighted
“These projects would have been implemented anyway, but the football championship has certainly accelerated all these developments so that the country can accommodate the 1.5 million fans that we expect in 2022.”
Then she added optimistically: “We are sure that everyone who visits Qatar in 2022 will be delighted.
“Our new facilities and services will provide a superior experience for teams and fans, as well as a foundational legacy for Qatar post-2022.”
The final will take place in Lusail, a former village about 24 km north of Doha.
Developing Lusail into a 19-district city has come at a huge cost to Qatar, but it’s still a work in progress.
Another large chunk of Qatar’s budget has been spent on building airports and a vast underground transport network, in line with their 2030 project.
The Doha Metro opened in May 2019 after reportedly costing $36bn (£33.2bn) to build.
Hamad International Airport opened in 2014 and is said to have cost an additional US$16 billion ($14.8 billion) to develop.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6309382/qatar-world-cup-spend-russia/ How Qatar spent $200 BILLION to host the controversial 2022 World Cup – almost 20 times the cost of Russia 2018