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HomeSportsWorld Cup Qatar 2022 praised for its 'unique cohesive power'

World Cup Qatar 2022 praised for its ‘unique cohesive power’

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The FIFA Council met Friday two days before the World Cup Qatar 2022 final between Argentina and France in Lusail, which FIFA President Gianni Infantino hailed as the “best ever”, following nearly a month during which “football reinforced its unique cohesive power by uniting the world in a spirit of peace and friendship.”

Infantino said overall the tournament had so far been a success, having attracted a total of 1.7mn people in the fan zones, with some 80,000 fans attending those areas daily. Average attendance also stood at 52,000 per match, some 5,000 more spectators than at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

In total, Infantino said, some 3.27mn spectators — domestic and international — were recorded with two matches still remaining. The total figure for the entire tournament in 2018 was 3.03mn.

Infantino said overall the tournament had so far been a success, having attracted a total of 1.7mn people in the fan zones, with some 80,000 fans attending those areas daily. Average attendance also stood at 52,000 per match, some 5,000 more spectators than at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

In total, Infantino said, some 3.27mn spectators — domestic and international — were recorded with two matches still remaining. The total figure for the entire tournament in 2018 was 3.03mn.

“The World Cup has been an incredible success on all fronts,” he said. “The main one being the fans, the behaviour, the joyful atmosphere, the bringing of people together. The fans meeting the Arab world, it has been very important for the future of all of us. It was very, very successful, but touch wood, two matches to go. Focus until the end and then we will of course confirm these feelings that we have now.”

Infantino said the tournament had exceeded revenue predictions in the four-year cycle leading to 2022, rising to a record $7.5bn — $1billion more than the previous four-year period leading to the 2018 World Cup. He said FIFA expected revenues to increase to $11bn in the years leading to the 2026 tournament, which will expand from 32 to 48 teams.

Qatar World Cup matches were politics free so fans could enjoy the football: Infantino

The FIFA President also said World Cup in Qatar kept political messaging away from the football so that fans could enjoy “a little moment of pleasure and joy.”

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He defended FIFA’s decision not to allow teams to display any messages on their shirts or team captains’ armbands. “It is not about prohibiting. It’s is about respecting regulations,” he told a news conference. “On the field of play we play football. You need to respect the field of play. This is nothing new. Maybe everyone has his own problems.

They (fans) just want to spend 90 minutes or 100 minutes or 120 minutes with penalties without having to think about anything else. Just enjoying a little moment of pleasure and joy, of emotions,” Infantino said.

“We have to give these people a moment in time where they can forget their problems and enjoy football. Outside of the match everybody can express their views and opinions.”

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