The first edition of the FIFA World Cup to be hosted in the Middle East and Arab world has presented several facts and figures, starting with a cumulative stadium attendance of 2.45 million spectators. That equals an average of 96% occupancy and is higher than the corresponding 2.17 million figure for the 2018 edition. Additionally, there have been more numbers and data to look at.

On the pitch, these are some relevant facts: 

  • For the first time ever, teams from all continents have advanced to the round of 16. Three teams from the AFC have reached the knockout stages – a competition record for the Asian confederation, which previously only had two, in 2002 and 2010. And for the second time, two African teams have reached the knockout stages – the last occasion being in 2014.
  • History was also made by Stéphanie Frappart, who not only became the first woman to officiate a FIFA World Cup match, but also, together with Neuza Back and Karen Díaz Medina, formed the first all-female trio to take charge.
  • Against Ghana, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo became the first male player to score at five editions of the tournament. 

And outside the pitch there were interesting findings as well:

  • The highest attendance in the history of the FIFA World Cup since the 1994 final was seen at Lusail Stadium, where 88,966 fans witnessed the Argentina v. Mexico match.
  • The FIFA Fan Festival welcomed its one-millionth visitor. Besides the official tournament venues, Doha’s seaside promenade – the Corniche – has attracted more than two million people since the start of the tournament. 
  • The most compact FIFA World Cup since the inaugural edition in 1930 is also benefiting fans, teams and media representatives, with the option of attending several matches and entertainment activities per day.
  • During the group stage, the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram networks notched up 9.19 million trips, with a daily average of 707,032 passengers. 
  • 2 million Hayyas (Fan IDs) applications have been received, with fans from Saudi Arabia, India, the USA, the United Kingdom and Mexico at the top of the list for tournament attendance to date. 

Colin Smith, FIFA COO World Cup, stated: “It’s been a fantastic World Cup, with groundbreaking figures and memorable moments both on and off the pitch. Fans are having an amazing time in Doha, and the whole world is following with excitement on TV as new records as set every day. What some saw as a challenge, we saw as an opportunity.”


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