More than 1.2 million tickets have been sold for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, organizers said on Wednesday.
The latest phase of ticket sales, a random drawing, ended at the end of April with 23.5 million ticket requests, with the largest numbers reported to FIFA coming from Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Mexico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States , the governing body of world football.
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“I think about 1.2 million tickets have already been bought. So people are actually buying and looking forward to coming,” said Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary-general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.
A total of two million tickets will be available during the 28-day tournament in November and December, he said.
The next opportunity to buy World Cup tickets will be on a first come, first served basis, but the date has not yet been announced.
The World Cup qualifiers are now complete and all 32 available slots for the tournament are secured.
Qatar hopes to attract 1.2 million visitors, almost half its population, during the World Cup.
Organizers are working to avoid price-boosting fans, and while local business should benefit, the tournament should be affordable and accessible to fans, al-Thawadi said at the Bloomberg-organized Qatar Economic Forum on Wednesday.
A key concern has been the cost and availability of accommodation in the Arabian Gulf state, which has fewer than 30,000 hotel rooms, according to Qatar Tourism’s latest estimates. Eighty percent of these rooms are currently allocated to FIFA guests, according to the organizers.
“In terms of availability, we have tried to ensure that we have different offers for different categories. So from the affordable ones, ranging from $80 to $100 a night, to the more expensive ones in the form of five-star hotels,” al-Thawadi said.
Qatar has expanded non-hotel accommodation, making 65,000 rooms in villas and apartments available for fans to book and around 4,000 rooms in two cruise ships moored in the port of Doha.
The business community in Qatar has pledged to pay back $28 million to workers who paid hiring fees to secure employment in the Gulf state.
The collection of recruitment fees is illegal in Qatar and elsewhere, although the practice is widespread in many of the countries from which workers in Qatar originate.
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