From Sunday, the football world will look to Qatar for the billion-dollar show. Doha, the Qatari sheiks paid 220 billion euros to host the World Cup in their small state (2.9 million inhabitants) - and thus set a new record even before the first kick-off.
For comparison: The last two World Cups in Russia in 2018 and Brazil in 2014 together cost "only" 26.6 billion. The market values of the 32 participating nations, which play for the most coveted title in the world until the grand finale on December 18th, also match the billion-dollar show in the north of the Arabian Peninsula: the 832 kickers cost 12.36 billion euros, with France being a superstar Kylian Mbappé is the most expensive star at 160 million euros.
World Cup Winner. But according to a market survey, the reigning world champion will get nothing in the desert: 12 percent are betting on a World Cup triumph for Brazil. It would be the first win for the record champion since the finals in 2002.
A good performance definitely pays off financially: the world association FIFA pays out a total of 400 million euros in bonuses, a new record here too. At the 2018 finals it was €338 million. The world champion alone cashes 42 million euros.
FIFA generates €2.7 billion in revenue per World Cup
Cash cow. But it is doubtful whether the fourth largest sporting event in the world will take place without any background noise. World Cup hosts Qatar are already causing worldwide outrage with bought fans and numerous bans (see story on the right).
FIFA will do everything it can to sell the inaugural finals as a fan fest this winter and expects more than a million fans in Qatar. No wonder: The World Cup is the cash cow of global sport: 1.12 billion people worldwide watched the 2018 final on TV.
In Austria, the ORF, together with ServusTV, is broadcasting all 64 games from Qatar - a cost-intensive coup. As German media reports, the state broadcasters ARD and ZDF in Germany together transferred 214 million euros to FIFA.
The world association is the real winner of the World Cup, generating 2.7 billion euros per final round.
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