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As football’s biggest event takes centre stage, all eyes are on the tiny nation of Qatar, with the massive responsibilities of hosting the tournament off its shoulders. Though much controversy has been expressed and allegations of corruption have been proven true, a lot of it has been swept under the rug in the buildup to November. While millions still argue about the morality of the world cup taking place, let’s take a look at the world’s most-watched tournament from a financial POV.

Qatar’s National Vision aims that – by 2030 – Qatar becomes an advanced society capable of sustaining its development and providing a high standard of living for its people. Qatar’s National Vision defines the long-term goals for the country and provides a framework in which national strategies and implementation plans can be developed

Keeping this in mind, the Qatari government has said that the world cup has accelerated their development goal. This can be supported by the fact that the 2022 edition of the world cup is the costliest in the sport’s history, with a mammoth $220 Billion being spent so far (estimates show more than $300 billion). It is around 20 times more than the cost of the previous football World Cup held in Russia. Here is the cost of each of the last eight editions of the FIFA Football World Cups.

Since winning the host-nation bid in 2010, In the 12 years that followed, Qatar has launched the largest infrastructure project in World Cup history to ensure that stadiums, transport links, airports and accommodation facilities would be ready in time for the big kickoff.

An estimated one million visitors have arrived in Qatar to watch the 2022 World Cup, there is much debate about the cost of the tournament’s infrastructure and plenty of controversy surrounding it.

Budget Breakdown

In Doha alone, more than $15 billion has been spent on an accommodation complex known as The Pearl, while $36 billion has been spent on the Doha Metro. Elsewhere, an entire city has been constructed around Lusail Stadium. Lusail City will feature 22 hotels and enough housing for 200,000 residents, as well as a theme park, two marinas and two golf courses.

The construction of eight stadiums capable of hosting World Cup matches has drawn much attention to Qatar’s infrastructure preparations:

The Controversy

The tournament has also incurred a human cost as well as a financial one. More than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago.

Global criticism prompted Qatar to introduce changes to its labour policy in the build-up to the tournament, including a minimum wage of 1,000 riyals ($275) per month.

While these changes have been welcomed, many will wait until the tournament is over to assess the ultimate cost – financial and otherwise – of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Sources- The Guardian, Sports Network, DW

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