More than 2.4 million people attended group stages matches: FIFA

The number was higher than during the group stage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, according to FIFA.

More than 2.45 million people attended the first 48 matches of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as teams from five confederations reached the round of 16, football’s governing body. according to FIFA on Saturday.

The number was higher than that of the 2018 World Cup in Russia for the group stage, FIFA said in the report.

Of all matches in the first round, the most attended match was between Argentina and Mexico at Lusail Stadium with an attendance of 88,996 people.

Lusail will also be the venue for the final.

Costa Rica Fan
Fan of Costa Rica during the game against Germany [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Meanwhile, more than a million people at the FIFA Fan Festival in Doha visited the venue, a place where fans gather to watch live matches during the tournament and was introduced during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

To date, Saudi Arabia led the list with the most visitors with over 77,000, followed by India with a total of 56,893.

Before Qatar 2022 kicked off on November 20, the host country said it expected more than a million visitors.

In terms of TV viewership, 36 million people watched Japan vs Costa Rica, while USA vs England was the most watched men’s soccer match in US television history.

Most Diverse Round of 16

According to FIFA, this year marked the first time since 2002 that teams from all continents reached the round of 16 knockout stages.

“This is the first time two African teams [Senegal and Morocco] have reached the round of 16 – only last time was in 2014 [Algeria and Nigeria]”, said the governing body.

Morocco topped their group after defeating Belgium and Canada, while drawing with Croatia in their opening match. Meanwhile, Senegal defeated Qatar and drew with Ecuador and the Netherlands in their Group A matches.

The qualification of South Korea, Australia and Japan marked the first time three countries from the Asian Football Federation reached the round of 16 of the World Cup, the report said.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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