Football fans attending World Cup matches in Qatar will fork out nearly 40% more for match tickets compared to those who watched the 2018 edition in Russia, with tickets for the final costing an eye-watering 684 pounds ($812) on average, a study shows.
While fans in Russia paid an average of 214 pounds for a seat, tickets to matches in Qatar cost an average 286 pounds, according to a study by Keller Sports.
The ticket prices in Qatar are the most expensive ever for World Cup games in the last 20 years, with those for the final 59% higher than four years ago, according to the study by the Munich-based sports outfitter.
“The World Cup in Qatar is already considered the most expensive World Cup ever. The construction of six new stadiums and the complete renovation of two other arenas in the country are said to have cost around $3 billion,” the study said.
“Much more money was spent on expanding the infrastructure of the capital Doha, such as transport routes and the reconstruction of the international airport.
“It is hardly surprising that the World Cup in Qatar is also the World Cup with the most expensive tickets on average.”
World soccer’s governing body FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
FIFA had earlier said nearly three million tickets across the eight stadiums in Qatar had been sold ahead of the November 20-December 18 World Cup, the first to be held in the Middle East.
Tickets for the 2006 World Cup in Germany were considered the most affordable in the last 20 years, with an average cost of 100 pounds for matches while tickets to the final at Berlin’s Olympiastadion cost, on average, 221 pounds per seat.
Dutch fans right to boycott World Cup-Van Gaal
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said Dutch fans who are boycotting the World Cup over human rights concern are right to do so but hopes that if his side get to next month’s final they will at least watch the game on television.
Van Gaal also repeated his assertion that Qatar should not be hosting the World Cup, but said it was because it was too small for the 32-team tournament and that hosting should be restricted to major football-playing countries.
But he also said the anticipated 3,000 Dutch fans who will travel to the tournament would be important for his team.
“It is fantastic that they will be here,” he told a news conference on Wednesday.
On supporters boycotting the Qatar World Cup over human rights concerns, Van Gaal added: “They are right to do that, but I hope we play so well that at the end of the tournament when we play the final, they’ll be watching on TV how good we are.”
A survey of 28,000 respondents in the Netherlands, conducted by EenVandaag and published on Tuesday, said only 14% were interested in following the tournament after years of negative publicity about Qatar.
The Gulf nation has rejected many of the allegations about the treatment of migrant workers and said the World Cup had helped bring about better working conditions.
“We have to play the World Cup in the most experienced football countries,” added Van Gaal, but he was also full of praise for the organisation and facilities.
“The training pitch we have could not be any better. The hotel and organisation has been fantastic. I am really looking forward to the tournament but it is more important that my players feel the same way.”
The Dutch kick off their Group A campaign against Senegal on Monday with Van Gaal insisting they have a chance to be crowned world champions.
“I believe we don’t have the best players in the world in our team but I believe in team building and tactics and we have players who can execute the tactical plan of the coach,” he added.
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