The number of match tickets sold for the Mondial-2022 amounts to 1.2 million after the second phase of sales, a “record demand”, according to the organizers, who recognize in parallel the difficulty of fighting against the rise in prices. housing.
“People are buying and looking forward to coming, there’s no doubt about it,” rejoiced the Secretary General of the Organizing Committee, Hassan Al-Thawadi, during the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha, while some associations of supporters worry about the availability and prices of housing or their rights in the wealthy and conservative Gulf emirate.
“We try to create an environment where the economy benefits but is also affordable and accessible for the fans, which is not always easy to balance,” conceded the manager.
New hotels regularly enter the accommodation platform for spectators with tickets, he said.
“Accommodation is not a concern. Everything is being done to ensure that there is enough here and in neighboring countries”, with which daily return flights will be set up for supporters, added Gianni Infantino. , the president of Fifa, the governing body of world football.
While the country has been called into question by NGOs on the issue of respect for human rights, and especially for migrant workers, Mr. Al-Thawadi once again insisted on the “progress” made since the awarding of the tournament in 2010.
“It’s not a spotlight,” he said, adding that Qatar would remain “committed” in this area “after the World Cup”.
Faced with criticism, “(our) weariness comes from the poor representation of the facts (…) and what is happening on the ground”, he regretted.
– “Guarantees” –
Mr. Infantino insisted on FIFA’s commitment to upholding human and migrant rights in the country “because progress must be maintained”.
On the issue of welcoming the LGBTQ + community in the emirate, where homosexuality is criminalized, which also worries some supporters, “everyone will be welcome, said the boss of Fifa. We have received the necessary guarantees, we train those responsible, we work hand in hand with the government and the police authorities.”
“We ask people to respect our culture, which is not too much to ask, I think (…) and to get to know us,” said Mr. Al-Thawadi.
FIFA also announced in a press release on Wednesday that it would have 96 volunteers on the ground during the tournament (accompanied by ten team leaders) responsible for discussing human rights issues with spectators.
As for the preparation of the World Cup less than five months before its kickoff, “the main infrastructures are finished and we are now in an operational phase” including in particular accommodation and itineraries, indicated the secretary general of the World-2022.
In total, the organizers of the first World Cup in an Arab country, from November 21 to December 18, said they had registered 40 million ticket requests, 17 million during the first sales phase and 23 million during the second. .
In all, there are just over 3 million tickets available (2 million for sale and 1 million reserved for Fifa and its partners) and more than 1 million visitors are expected in a country of 2.8 million. of inhabitants.
For the next phase of sales, the dates of which are not known, the principle of first come first served will apply, and no longer a draw.