December 3, 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will the most expensive tournament in the competition’s history after the host nation prepared for the event by spending more than 16 times the amount invested by previous host Russia.
It was back in December 2010 that former FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced that Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup, sparking wild celebrations on the streets of Doha.
In the 12 years that followed, Qatar launched the largest infrastructure project in World Cup history to ensure that stadiums, transport links, airports and accommodation facilities would be ready in time for the big kickoff.
An estimated one million visitors have arrived in Qatar to watch the 2022 World Cup, there is much debate about the cost of the tournament’s infrastructure, and plenty of controversy surrounding it.
More: Qatar’s World Cup stadiums for 2022 tournament — name, location, cost and size
Qatar has reportedly spent $229 billion on World Cup infrastructure, although the World Cup official team has not confirmed that figure.
The country’s finance ministers admitted to spending $500 million per week for years during the course of the infrastructure project, but the highest total confirmed by a Qatari official was $200 billion, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.
Attempts to piece together an accurate estimate of the World Cup’s total cost have been made difficult by the varying statements made about the cost of infrastructure elements such as stadia, hotels and transport links during the last 12 years.
The Tass report quoted a figure of $6.5 billion as the cost of the World Cup’s eight stadia, per Communications Executive Director at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy of the World Cup, Fatma Al Nuaimi.
Previously, the secretary general of the committee, Hassan Al Thawadi, had suggested the cost of the stadia was $8 billion-$10 billion when asked at the Chatham House Policy Institute in London in 2016.


The total outlay paid out by Qatar is staggering, but figuring out exactly what the money has been spent on is not an exact science.
Cooling systems at all but one of the eight stadiums being used at the World Cup are said to have dramatically increased construction costs, as designers put in place technology that would keep players, supporters and the World Cup pitches at a suitable temperature.
The turf to be used in the World Cup pitches has been grown in special nurseries using imported grass seeds, and requires to be kept cool and well watered in order to stay in good condition for football amid the arid Qatari climate.
In addition to the money spent on building or redeveloping the World Cup’s eight stadiums, huge amounts have also been spent on accommodation, including private islands, villas, apartments and hotels.
In Doha alone, more than $15 billion has been spent on an accommodation complex known as The Pearl, while $36 billion has been spent on the Doha Metro.
Elsewhere, an entire city has been constructed around Lusail Stadium. Lusail City will feature 22 hotels and enough housing for 200,000 residents, as well as a theme park, two marinas and two golf courses.
The construction of eight stadiums capable of hosting World Cup matches has drawn much of the attention on Qatar’s infrastructure preparations.
Here is the reported cost, according to the U.K.’s Sky News, of the venues that will host 64 World Cup matches in November and December:
*Redevelopment cost
According to Front Office Sports, South Africa reportedly spent $3.6 billion on the 2010 World Cup, successfully spending less on infrastructure than previous hosts Germany ($4.3 billion in 2006), and Japan and South Korea ($7 billion in 2002).
The stadiums and other infrastructure projects of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil cost a reported $15 billion, while $11.6 billion was spent on the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
None of these figures come close to the estimated cost of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which is beyond a doubt the most expensive World Cup in history.
The tournament has also incurred a human cost as well as a financial one.
More: How many workers have died building Qatar World Cup stadiums?
A huge migrant workforce was recruited to build the World Cup infrastructure, with hundreds of thousands of workers arriving from countries such as India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Many of those workers were reportedly required to pay fees of up to $4,000 in order to secure contracts in Qatar, on the promise of well-paid work and good conditions.
During the course of the 12-year World Cup infrastructure project, workers returned home from Qatar reporting low pay of under $1 per hour across 12-hour shifts, including during the summer months when temperatures in Qatar would reach 43 degrees Celsius.
Global criticism prompted Qatar to introduce changes to its labor policy in the build up to the tournament, including a minimum wage of 1,000 riyals ($275) per month.
While these changes have been welcomed, many will wait until the tournament is over to assess the ultimate cost – financial and otherwise – of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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