The 2022 FIFA World Cup Story: How And Why Qatar Spent $220 Billion For Hosting The Word Cup

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is the most expensive tournament in the game’s history, as the host nation spent more than 16 times as much on preparations as the previous host, Russia. Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter declared in December 2010 that Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup, igniting wild celebrations in the streets of Doha.

In the 12 years that followed, Qatar built the greatest infrastructure project in the history of the World Cup to ensure that football stadiums, transportation links, airports, and lodging facilities would be ready for the big kickoff. An estimated one million people have arrived in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, and there is great debate regarding the infrastructure costs and issues surrounding the tournament. Let’s discover why Qatar spent $220 billion to host the World Cup.

How Much Qatar Paid To Host The World Cup?

It has been reported that Qatar has spent a total of $220 billion on World Cup infrastructure, however, the official team for the World Cup has not acknowledged this figure. According to the Russian Tass news agency, the finance ministers of the country revealed that they spent $500 million every week for years during the course of the infrastructure project.

However, the greatest figure confirmed by a Qatari official was $220 billion, which is a significant difference. The varying statements made over the course of the past 12 years about the cost of infrastructure elements such as stadiums, hotels, and transportation links have made it difficult to piece together an accurate estimate of the total cost of the World Cup.

According to the Communications Executive Director of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy of the World Cup, Fatma Al Nuaimi, the Tass article cited a figure of $6.5 billion as the cost of the eight stadiums that will be used for the World Cup. When asked about the cost of the stadiums, Hassan Al Thawadi, the secretary general of the committee, estimated that it would be between $8 billion and $10 billion to build them.

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What Has Qatar Spent Money On?

It is not an exact science, but determining exactly how much money Qatar has spent and what it has spent is one of the most difficult tasks facing the country. It has been reported that the installation of cooling systems in all but one of the eight stadiums that are being used at the World Cup resulted in a significant increase in construction costs. Architects were tasked with putting in place technology that would maintain an appropriate temperature for players, fans, and the World Cup turfs.

Due to the hot and dry climate in Qatar, the turf that will be used for the World Cup fields had to be produced in special nurseries using imported grass seeds. Additionally, the turf needs to be kept at a cool temperature and adequately hydrated in order to be in suitable condition for football. Huge sums of money have been spent on the World Cup’s accommodations, which include private islands, villas, flats, and hotels.

This is in addition to the money that was spent on building or redeveloping the eight stadiums that will host the tournament. It has cost more than $15 billion to construct an accommodation complex known as The Pearl in Doha, while it has cost $36 billion to construct the Doha Metro. In another location, a complete city has been built around the Lusail Stadium to accommodate its inhabitants. Lusail City is going to have 22 hotels, enough housing for 200,000 people, a theme park, two marinas, and two golf courses.

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The Most Expensive FIFA World Cup In The History

The previous hosts of the World Cup, Germany ($4.3 billion in 2006) and Japan and South Korea ($7 billion in 2002), spent significantly more money on infrastructure than South Africa did for the 2010 World Cup. According to Front Office Sports, South Africa reportedly spent $3.6 billion on the event.

It is estimated that $15 billion was spent on stadiums and other infrastructure improvements for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, but only $11.6 billion was spent on the World Cup in Russia in 2018. While these countries spent a lot to host the most-watched sporting event in the world, Qatar went way ahead of them.

The predicted cost of hosting the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, which is without a doubt going to be the most expensive World Cup ever, is not even close to being matched by any of these numbers. As mentioned above, Qatar spent approximately a whopping $220 billion over the past 12 years to build the required infrastructure and host the tournament.

The Controversies Surrounding The Qatar World Cup 2022

There was a massive influx of migrant labor brought in from countries like India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in order to construct the infrastructure for the Fifa World Cup 2022. It has been alleged that a significant number of those individuals were compelled to pay fees of up to $4,000 in order to acquire contracts in Qatar, with the promise of well-paid work in favorable working circumstances. This started a massive controversy in the history of the Fifa World Cups.

Workers who returned home from Qatar during the course of the 12-year World Cup infrastructure project reported low pay of less than $1 per hour across 12-hour shifts, including during the summer months when temperatures in Qatar would reach 43 degrees Celsius. It is important to consider that the project lasted for a total of 12 years.

However, in response to criticism from around the world, Qatar revised its labor laws in the months leading up to the World Cup, instituting a minimum pay of 1,000 riyals (or approximately $275) per month for workers. These adjustments have been met with positive feedback, but many people will wait until the end of the tournament before making a determination about the total cost of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.


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Sources: Forbes, DW, The New York Times

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