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SATURDAY, December 02, 2023

The greatest sports show on Earth – in numbers

The greatest sports show on Earth – in numbers
THURSDAY, November 24, 2022

Fifa estimates that more than 5 billion people will tune in to the action over the next four weeks.

Here is your guide to 2022 World Cup in numbers:

Host Qatar

  • US$229 billion: Cost of organising the tournament, including construction of seven new football stadiums, underground metro to connect stadiums, airports, hospitals, hotels, and malls. Russia spent only $11.6 billion as the host of the 2018 World Cup.
  • $17 billion: Estimated revenue for host. Fifa earned $7.5 billion.
  • 3 million: Number of tickets sold. Top 10 ticket buyers are from Qatar, US, Saudi Arabia, UK, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, France, Brazil, and Germany.
  • 2.8 million: Lowest-ever population for host country.
  • 1.2 million: Stadium spectators expected to watch 64 matches, with 1,300 Qatar flights per day during the event.
  • 11,572 square kilometres: Smallest country ever to host the World Cup (about 44 times smaller than Thailand).
  • 28.8C (84F): Average highest temperature in November, dropping to while the number dropped to 23.8C (75F) in December. It would have been 41.1C (106F) if the World Cup had been held in June-July as usual.
  • 5: Number of Asian teams in this World Cup. Qatar is the second Asian host after South Korea-Japan in 2002.

Other countries

  • 209: Number of Fifa member countries/territories
  • 32: National teams scheduled to play 64 matches. That number will rise to 48 at the 2026 World Cup (US-Mexico-Canada) where 80 matches will be played.
  • 13 European teams: Germany, Denmark, Belgium, France, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Wales
  • 8 former champions: Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina, France (reigning champions), Uruguay, Spain, and England
  • 5 titles: Brazil is the team with the most World Cup wins followed by Germany and Italy with four wins each. Brazil is also the only team to participate in every World Cup, qualifying for the semi-finals 11 times.


  • 26: The squad quota for each team, increased from 23 in the previous World Cup as this edition is being held mid-season.
  • 17: Players from Bayern Munich, the club with the most footballers in the 2022 World Cup.
  • 16: Goals scored by Miroslav Klose of Germany, the World Cup’s top goalscorer after playing in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 editions.
  • 13: Goals scored by Just Fontaine of France in 1958, the highest number in a single World Cup.
  • 3: World Cups won by Pelé, the highest number won by a single footballer. Named the greatest footballer of the 20th century, he led Brazil to wins in 1958, 1962, and 1970.


  • 5 billion: The number of viewers as estimated by Fifa. The 2018 World Cup attracted around 3.5 billion viewers worldwide.
  • $33 million/1.2 billion baht: The price Thailand paid for rights to broadcast the 2022 World Cup.

The greatest sports show on Earth – in numbers

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