The World cup is one competition that is more than energy sapping, it’s one of the most capital-intensive projects any group of people, organization, or government can undertake.
It is no surprise then that FIFA gives hosting rights only to countries whose bid for FIFA competitions is supported by the government of the country.
In times past, countries budgeted the cost of hosting a World cup but recent revelations showed a huge increase in the cost of hosting a World cup.
Some may say inflation may have contributed to this but the fact remains that the cost of hosting the 2006 and 2010 World Cups was lower than that of the 2002 world cup.
There is usually a varying situation when considering the costs implications of a World cup and below is the cost of the previous world cups from 1994 to 2022.
Total costs of hosting the FIFA World Cup:
- 1994 USA: $0.5b
- 1998 France: $2.3b
- 2002 Japan: $7b
- 2006 Germany: $4.3b
- 2010 South Africa $3.6b
- 2014 Brazil: $15b
- 2018 Russia: $11.6b
- 2022 Qatar: $220b
Things to consider when hosting the World Cup
Before handing the hosting rights of a World Cup to any country, FIFA considers the infrastructure and development level of such a country.
Factors like roads, hotels, security, stadium, and availability of a world-class transportation system including train services, and airports are always considered.
However, a country that lacks some of these may still be handed the hosting rights but with enough time gap to put these things in order.
This succinctly explains why Germany’s $4.3b World Cup cost was way lower than South Korea/Japan’s $7b hosting cost in 2002.
The Cost of Hosting 2022 World Cup
Qatar has spent more than 20 times what was used for the last World Cup hosting by Russia in 2018; while the Russians spent $11.2 billion dollars, the 2022 World Cup will cost Qatar $220 billion to stage.
The hosts are expecting around 1.2 million visitors for this year’s Mundial, being the first ever World Cup in that region. Qatar has been building monuments across the country as well as constructing new stadiums.
Part of the money spent includes a whooping $10b for the construction of new stadiums. A good chunk of the $220b was spent on transportation and infrastructure beyond sports.
In the Qatar 2030 National plan where a massive innovation center was planned, hotels, Airports, and a sophisticated metro network are also put into consideration for this Qatar 2030 National plan.
In fact, according to some officials involved in the planning of the World cup, Qatar 2022 is not an isolated event but rather a part of a massive national urbanization plan that is nationwide.
The Communications Executive Director for the tournament, Fatma Al Nuaimi stressed that national facilities and industry will receive a massive facelift.
There is also intensive development of education and healthcare systems. In 2019, a massive $36 billion went into constructing an underground transportation network, which supporters will use during the tournament.
The country also spent $16Billion on the Hamad International Airport all to make transportation easier.
However, the downside of the Qatar hosting rights is the human rights issues with talks about how labourers and workers are treated since work towards hosting of the World Cup in the country began.
About 2,000 labour complaints were placed at the Ministry of Labour against firms and institutions involved in construction around Qatar in December.
Amnesty International has also been involved as a huge number of workers and human rights bodies have called for sanctions against the Asian country.
In conclusion, it’s the first world cup in the East, the first in the desert so it is expected that the number of funds that have gone into it will be huge.
With the massive construction of stadiums, five-star hotels, and a working transportation system that includes an underground tunnel, it looks as though, inflation or not, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be the most expensive for a while although the next edition involving three hosts in 2028 may move the costs a few notches higher giving that it will be hosted by a combination of the USA, Canada, and Mexico.