The most popular sport in the world is football. As glorious as the sport’s present is, its history is just as controversial and embattled.
Before November 20, the Qatar World Cup was probably going to be the most controversial World Cup in history. Citing human rights organizations, news has been published that thousands of workers have died while building infrastructure for the World Cup in the last decade and a half.
Based on that, the International Labor Organization, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other human rights organizations continued to unilaterally oppose Qatar.
They also asked FIFA and Qatar to set up a $440 million fund from World Cup prize money to compensate foreign workers. Qatar ignored the news. It took day and night to make the this a success.
When the grand opening of the football World Cup took place on November 20 at the Al Ayat Stadium, Then the voice of the opponents also became muted. Everyone started enjoying the World Cup.
Now Qatar’s investment of billions in the World Cup and its efficient management are being discussed everywhere. Qatar, a country with a population of around 3 million people, has surprised everyone by offering hospitality to millions of people.
The host country, Qatar, spared no effort to make the 22nd edition of the World Cup an expensive one. For hosting the World Cup, Qatar built seven stadiums, an airport, a metro system, various road networks, and a hundred hotels.
An entire city was built around the Lusail stadium for the World Cup final. According to the international media, about 220 billion dollars have been spent on this. Compared to previous World Cup investments, this is considered to be the highest expenditure so far.
Russia spent $11.6 billion, Brazil spent $15 billion in 2014, South Africa spent $3.6 billion in 2010, and Germany spent $4.6 billion in 2006 for the 2018 World Cup. Similarly, in 2002, Japan and Korea jointly spent seven billion dollars.
In this way, Qatar has spent more money on hosting a single edition of the World Cup than the total official amount spent on all previous World Cup events. Qatar has spent most of the money on infrastructure.
It is estimated that only 1.7 billion dollars will be spent organizing the World Cup games. This is less than the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Four years ago, Russia spent $1.8 billion.
The right to proceed with the project was granted 12 years ago
The International Football Federation (FIFA) gave the right to host the World Cup to Qatar in the Middle East 12 years ago. On December 2, 2010, Qatar received the responsibility of hosting the World Cup.
For this, voting was held until the fourth phase. Qatar won the rights to the project, beating Japan, Australia, South Korea, and the US. At that time, US President Barrack Obama criticized FIFA’s decision.
When Qatar won the right to host the World Cup, it had only one stadium. That also needed to be rebuilt.
After that, the Qatari government hired more than 30,000 foreign workers to build seven stadiums. In that context, they took workers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and other countries.
The North African nation of Morocco not only put on a proud performance but also defied the predictions of football pundits as the expected team performance at the FIFA World Cup fell short.
Morocco missed out on qualifying for the World Cup final by just one step. However, their performance in Qatar was something to be proud of. Despite losing 2-0 to former champions France in the second semi-final on Wednesday night, Morocco managed to win the hearts of many.
Morocco became the first African and Arab country to reach the semi-finals in the history of the World Cup.
Morocco was a French colony. For this reason, football has been very popular in Morocco. Born in Derb Sultan, Mohamed Zarir is Morocco’s all-time biggest football star. He also became the first player to score a goal for Morocco in the 1970 World Cup. However, the Qatar World Cup has produced many football “stars” in Morocco.
Tunisia got eliminated from the group stage of the World Cup. Despite defeating former champions France 1-0, they failed to make it to the last 16. After Tunisia’s early exit from the World Cup, Morocco won the support of its football fans.
There is an ongoing dispute between Tunisia and Morocco over the Western Sahara region. Last August, Morocco recalled its ambassador from Tunisia. Before that, the ambassador was recalled because of Tunisian President Kais Said’s support for the Polisario Front, which is fighting for independence from Western Sahara.
Despite this, many Tunisians supported Morocco. Since 1990, three African nations, namely Cameroon, Ghana, and Senegal, have made it to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Morocco became the last African country to reach the semi-finals.
A lot of spending on physical infrastructure
Qatar spent $36 billion on the Doha Metro system alone. It said that $6.5 billion dollars were spent to build seven new stadiums and repair the eighth one.
After the World Cup, only three stadiums will be used. 974 stadium is being completely demolished, while the remaining stadiums are going to be used for other purposes.
Built using 974 shipping containers, seven World Cup football matches were held in the that stadium. It is said that this stadium, built from reusable containers, will be dismantled and the containers will be sent to different countries.
After receiving the responsibility of hosting the 2010 World Cup, Qatar planned to build 12 stadiums, but due to the Corona epidemic and other reasons, only eight stadiums were prepared. Out of which seven stadiums were newly constructed and Khalifa International Stadium was reconstructed.
According to Qatar, Lusail Stadium will now be converted into a school and shopping mall. Al Bayt Stadium will be converted into a five-star hotel. Two stadiums will be used by local clubs.
Ahmed Ali Bin Stadium will be owned by Al Rayban Club, and Al Janob Stadium will be owned by Al Wahrah. The Khalifa International Stadium will be taken over by the Qatari Football Association. Apart from this, some of the stadiums will be used for the Asian Cup in 2024.
How much is FIFA’s income?
The Qatar World Cup is estimated to generate more than $4.6 billion in revenue for FIFA, the world’s highest governing body. It is said that the largest part of this will be obtained from the sale of television broadcasting rights.
It is said that FIFA will earn 56 percent of the total revenue from the sale of television broadcasting rights, or about $2.7 billion. Similarly, 29 percent, or $1.3 billion, will be earned from advertising. About 675 million dollars will be generated from ticket sales.
How much is the prize money ?
About $440 million has been set aside as prize money for the Qatar World Cup. Out of which, the winner will receive 42 million dollars, the runner-up will receive 30 million dollars, the third runner-up will receive 27 million dollars, and the fourth runner-up will receive 25 million dollars.
Similarly, the team that reaches the quarterfinals will get 17 million dollars, the team that reaches the last 16 will get 13 million dollars, and the remaining 16 teams will get 9 million dollars.
Continuation of an old winner
The old winners are going to repeat themselves in the Qatar World Cup. Since 1930, only eight countries have lifted the World Cup trophy. This time too, former winners France and Argentina have reached the finals.
So this time, too, the old winner will continue. France were the 1998 and 2018 winners. Similarly, Argentina lifted the World Cup trophy in 1978 and 1986.
The last time a new winning nation was added was in 2010. In the 2010 World Cup, Spain became the new winner. Spain lifted the World Cup trophy for the first time after defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in extra time.
Before that, France won the title for the first time in 1998. France won their second World Cup four years ago, 20 years after lifting their first trophy.