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No future, no hope, no dream: what does the future hold for the Qataris? | Israel today


Qatar broke the World Cup's all-time spending record, but the fact that it does not boast a sporting culture raises the question of what will happen after the tournament is over • Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, FIFA is counting the cash it received

According to the official statements of the organizers, the total expenses for organizing the World Cup reached an astronomical sum of 220 billion dollars.

Independent assessment factors point to an even higher price - 300 billion.

Either way, this is a magnitude that no previous World Cup has come close to.

For comparison, the World Cup in Russia four years ago cost between 11.6 billion and 14.2 billion - depending on who you ask.

In both cases, the budgets included projects not directly related to football.

When host countries submit the proposal to host the World Cup, they must provide guarantees for the provision of funds not only for the construction or upgrading of stadiums, but also for the establishment of necessary infrastructure.

What is necessary infrastructure?

The interpretation depends on the creativity of the organizers and the depth of their pockets.

In the case of Qatar and its full pockets - creativity knew no bounds.

Precisely the construction of the eight stadiums for the tournament (seven built from scratch and one significantly upgraded) cost "pennies" - 6.5 billion, only about 3% of the entire official budget.

All the rest went to the realization of "Qatar's National Vision 2030", an ambitious plan to modernize the wealthy emirate.

The examples are not lacking.

As part of the preparations for the World Cup, the Qataris completed the Doha Expressway, a highway that connected the capital to the suburbs.

This project alone cost 8 billion, more than all the magnificent stadiums.


The construction of Lusail, the future city of Qatar where the stadium that will host the final match, cost at least 50 billion.

Add to these flagship projects more roads, hundreds of bridges, about 100 interchanges, a new airport and a sophisticated subway system, and the total Qatari expenses will no longer seem so inflated.

Brazil players celebrate with the fans, photo: Reuters

Patronage or not

, the citizens would ask their rulers if these expenditures would ever pay for themselves - but Qatar is too rich and too authoritarian for unnecessary questions.

Another possibility deals with the question of what will be done in the giant stadiums in the country, where the fan base of the major soccer team numbers about 1,500 people.

In any case, the Emirates authorities present the costs of the World Cup as an investment, and not as an expense, and certainly expect a return - except that it will arrive, if at all, somewhere in the future, and will not necessarily be measured.

Economists on behalf of Qatar's rulers nevertheless expect a profit of 17 billion dollars from hosting the World Cup.

Not long ago they predicted that the profit would reach 20 billion, and the obvious conclusion is that no one knows for sure if one of the numbers is correct - or if both are just off the finger.

What is already measurable today is the rate of FIFA's income following the World Cup in Qatar. During the four and a half years that have passed since the previous tournament, the world football federation received no less than 7.5 billion dollars, compared to the 6.4 billion dollars it put into its bank account in the four years preceding the World Cup in Russia.

974 Stadium in Qatar.

He is also expected to disappear after the tournament, photo: GettyImages

The increase in income came from sponsorships, and the new sponsorships came (what a surprise!) from Qatari companies: the telecom company Ooredoo, the oil and gas company Qatar Energy, the airline Qatar Airways and the banking group Qatari National Bank.

FIFA actually reduced its expenses, mainly thanks to Qatar's small size. FIFA, and not the host country, bears the transportation costs of the national teams and delegations - and this time, due to the fact that all the stadiums are located 50 km from Doha, there was no need to fly , rent more hotels, etc.

As a result, even after FIFA showers the national teams with the financial prizes totaling 440 million dollars, which will be split between all of them and range from 1.5 million for the mere participation and 42 million for the winning team - its profit line will be particularly impressive.

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-11-30

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