Get all your news in one place
100’s of premium titles. One news app. Zero ads. Just $10 per month.
Asharq Al-Awsat

Qatar World Cup Audience Projected at 5 Bln, Says FIFA Boss

FIFA president Gianni Infantino (L) shakes hands with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (R) as former Brazilian footballer Ronaldo looks on during a panel on football at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos on May 23, 2022. (AFP)

The 2022 World Cup hosted by Qatar is expected to be watched by 5 billion people around the world, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Monday.

The TV audiences for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was a record-breaking 3.5 billion people.

Qatar will host the first World Cup in the Middle East starting late November.

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Monday criticized attacks on Qatar by some people, "including many in positions of influence", over its hosting of the event.

"Even today, there are still people who cannot accept the idea, that an Arab Muslim country, would host a tournament, like the World Cup," he said in a speech at the World Economic Forum.

He said Qatar, like other states, was "not perfect" but has pushed reforms and development.

Reforms include raising the minimum wage and new rules authorities say are designed to protect workers, including from heat stress.