FIFA have told officials from more than 200 of their member countries that they earned record revenues of £6.3billion during the four-year cycle between the Russia World Cup in 2018 and the Qatar World Cup. FIFA have come under fire for allowing Qatar to host this year’s tournament, with the first match of the competition between the host nation and Ecuador taking place on Sunday.
According to the Miami Herald, FIFA’s revenues were down to commercial deals tied to the Qatar World Cup and equate to £840million more than the amount they made during the period linked to the Russia tournament.
This year’s World Cup hosts were responsible for some of the extra money FIFA received after Qatar Energy joined as a top-tier sponsor, while bank QNB became a third-tier sponsor, as did telecoms firm Ooredoo.
FIFA also agreed second-tier sponsor packages with financial platform crypto.com and a blockchain provider. Meanwhile, former president Sepp Blatter was responsible for signing key broadcast deals with US broadcaster Fox and Qatar organisation BeIN Sports as part of a two-tournament package that included the World Cup in Russia.
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Qatar have faced heavy criticism ahead of the World Cup due to their human rights, their treatment of migrant workers and their stance on same-sex relationships. And when the World Cup was awarded to them in 2010, they didn’t have a single stadium in their country.
But the Middle East country are looking to put on a spectacular tournament in front of the world’s watching eyes. Brazil begin the World Cup as favourites after losing just one match since 2019, while Argentina, Germany, France, England and Spain will also be aiming to be in the mix for silverware.
England come into the tournament in dismal form having failed to win any of their last six matches. And they didn’t find the back of the net in four of those encounters. But Gareth Southgate’s team sailed through their qualifying group and will be looking to open their World Cup campaign with victory on Monday when they take on Iran.