The FIFA World Cup in Qatar has recorded the highest-ever attendance in the global football tournament’s history, with a cumulative stadium attendance of 2.45 million spectators, a report finds.
A report published by FIFA on its Qatar 2022 portal suggested that after 13 days and 48 matches, the first edition of the tournament to be hosted in the Middle Eastern region has seen a record turnout, with an average of 96 percent occupancy, higher than the corresponding 2.17 million figure recorded during its 2018 edition in Russia.
The highest-ever attendance in the history of the World Cup since the 1994 final was seen at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar when 88,966 fans watched the Argentina v. Mexico match last Saturday, November 26.
Another interesting factor in this year’s edition of the World Cup is that teams from all continents have advanced to the Round of 16, in another first for the global tournament.
Three teams from the Asia Pacific region – Australia, Japan and South Korea – reached the knockout stages in a competition record for the region which previously only had two teams in 2002 and 2010. Also remarkable was that two African teams – Senegal and Morocco – also reached the knockout stages, last such occasion took place in 2014.
“The outcome of the group stage shows the extent to which more countries have acquired the tools to compete at the highest level,” said FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsène Wenger, said in a statement on Sunday.
“This is the result of better preparation and analysis of the opponents, which is also a reflection of a more equal access to technology. It is very much in line with FIFA’s efforts to increase football’s competitiveness on a global scale.”
One particularly remarkable record was set by Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo who was the first player in history to score at five editions of the World Cup.
History was also made by Stephanie Frappart, who became the first woman to officiate a FIFA World Cup match, and, together with Neuza Back and Karen Díaz Medina, formed the first all-female trio to take charge.
The tournament kicked off on November 20 and is set to run until December 18.