Distinctive numbers in the 2021 Arab World Cup confirm Qatar’s readiness to host an exceptional edition of the World Cup
As part of the ongoing preparations to host the 2022 World Cup Qatar, the statistics and figures for the 2021 Arab World Cup confirmed the readiness of all stadiums, facilities and operational processes to organize an exceptional edition of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar at the end of this year.
Despite the challenges posed by the “Covid-19” pandemic, the Arab World Cup attracted thousands of fans from Qatar, the Arab world and around the world, to support their country’s teams and enjoy the competitions that brought together the best football teams in the region.
The mass attendance in many matches exceeded 80% of the stadium’s capacity, based on tickets available for sale in light of “Covid-19” prevention measures, such as the Qatar-Bahrain match, the Algeria-Egypt match in the group stage, the Qatar-UAE match, and the Morocco-Algeria match, In the quarter-finals, the match between Tunisia and Egypt, the match between Qatar and Algeria in the semi-finals, in addition to the final match between Tunisia and Algeria.
Tickets and fan card
Fans from inside Qatar got the largest share of tickets for the tournament with 89%, compared to fans from outside the country with 11%. Fans from Qatar, Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan came at the forefront of the highest nationalities who attended the tournament.
Fans from Qatar occupied the top five places for the fans who attended the most matches by country of residence, followed by fans from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India and Iraq. Meanwhile, the tournament set a record for the largest attendance of a football match in Qatar’s history, with 63,439 fans during the Qatar-UAE match, in the quarter-finals of the tournament at Al Bayt Stadium.
The figures showed that more than 631,000 tickets were sold for the championship matches, and the digital tickets that fans highlighted on their mobile phones at the stadiums represented 92% of the total number of tickets, compared to paper tickets.
The Haya card system (the fan card) was adopted during the first phase of the Arab Cup competitions. It is a smart identification card that allowed fans to obtain an entry permit to the State of Qatar and the tournament stadiums, in addition to a number of advantages, including the use of public transportation for free on match days. More than 174,000 fan cards were issued to the tournament fans.
Participating teams and referees
The number of members of the delegations of the participating teams reached 842 people, including 387 players, and the number of official training sessions for the participating teams reached 64, and the number of other training sessions was 118 in the advanced training stadiums designated for the teams participating in the Qatar World Cup 2022.
With regard to the number of referees, 12 field referees and 24 assistant referees belonging to the six continental federations administered the tournament competitions, in addition to 16 video referees. The training activities of the referees during the tournament recorded 23 training sessions.
Transportation, permits and facilities for people with disabilities
On the readiness of transportation means, the championship statistics revealed that 2.5 million people used public transportation during the Arab Cup, where 600 buses were allocated for the operations of the tournament, and 680,000 people used metro stations to reach the Corniche during the period of its closure, coinciding with the start of the championship competitions. The figures also indicated that 1,222 transport operations were carried out for the participants in the tournament.
More than a thousand journalists obtained media permits to cover the tournament, and the proportion of international media professionals with broadcasting rights was 15% and those who did not have broadcast rights reached 65%.
Regarding the facilities provided to fans with disabilities, easy access to all stadiums and movement within them was made easy and comfortable. An audio descriptive commentary service was provided in Arabic in two of the tournament stadiums, in a precedent that is the first to provide this service in Arabic in FIFA tournaments, in addition to the ideal atmosphere provided by the sensory assistance room at Education City Stadium for fans with autism and perceptual difficulties.
On the other hand, the number of workers providing food and beverage services reached 1,500. The Volunteer Program of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy also selected 5,000 volunteers from among the approximately 60,000 people who applied to volunteer. The percentage of volunteers residing in Qatar was 95%, while the number of international volunteers reached 350 volunteers from 92 countries.
Regarding the viewership rates for the Arab Cup matches, the figures show that the number of views achieved by “BN Sports” channels, from the start of the tournament to the quarter-finals, amounted to about 85 million viewers, while the average viewership for each match in the group stage was 3.1 million viewers.
The match between Algeria and Egypt had the most number of viewers in the group stage, with an average of 9.5 million viewers. The average viewership of the quarter-final matches reached 7.2 million viewers per match. The match between Morocco and Algeria recorded the highest rate of viewers in the quarter-finals, with an average of 11 million viewers. This is according to the global platform “Publix”, the world leader in sports and entertainment, which estimated the number of viewers based on data provided by the “beIN Sports” network.
The tournament witnessed 64 press conferences. The number of broadcasting teams from the State of Qatar reached 5 teams, and the global broadcast was distinguished by a high-definition display, and 29 cameras were allocated to broadcast in all matches, as well as the production of digital content dedicated to the tournament, and Al Bayt Stadium, which witnessed 5 matches, hosted a broadcast coordination center. International, as part of the operational readiness testing activities in preparation for the World Cup.
The events of the tournament were broadcast by 15 media outlets with broadcasting rights in 83 regions around the world. FIFA also broadcast the tournament matches for free on YouTube and on the digital platforms of its partners. The “BN Sports” channels broadcast all the matches for free, and online in the Middle East region.
In addition, a number of local and regional channels broadcast the championship matches live for free, including Al Kass and Al Rayyan channels in Qatar, the Egyptian “On Time Sport” channel, the Iraqi “Al Rabaa” channel, and the Omani “Oman Sports” channel. In addition, 650 media licenses were granted to partner broadcasters to cover the tournament.
As in the tournaments organized by FIFA, the preparation phase for the Arab Cup witnessed the participation of all referees, match observers, and safety and security officials, in training activities on measures against racism in football stadiums. Security personnel and other staff and volunteers at the stadiums also received anti-racism training. Organizers made sure to display an anti-discrimination advertisement inside the stadiums before the start of each match. In addition to establishing 3 procedures to deal with any racist incident if it occurs.
The statistics showed that all 32 matches of the tournament were subjected to an assessment that monitors the likelihood of racist incidents in each match, and anti-racism match observers were deployed in all matches in which the possibilities of racist incidents increased, as well as the distribution of special flags and anti-racism slogans in all matches . No racist incidents were recorded throughout the tournament.
It is noteworthy that the Arab Cup, which was held for the first time under the umbrella of FIFA, witnessed the participation of 16 Arab teams, who competed in 32 matches over 19 days in 6 of the 2022 World Cup stadiums, and the Algerian team succeeded in winning the championship title after defeating Tunisia in The final match with two goals without a response in the home stadium of the World Cup.