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Qatar: The Most Expensive World Cup Ever


Excerpts from Martin Armstrong, Sep 23, 2022

If you add up the total costs, taking into account not only the cost of building new stadiums and renovating existing ones, but also all the money spent on infrastructure, this year’s World Cup in Qatar is by far the most expensive of all time. As this infographic starkly illustrates, Qatar has amassed astronomical costs of around $220 billion. By contrast, the costs of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, for example, appear almost minuscule at $4.3 billion.

Infographic: World Cup in Qatar: The Most Expensive Ever | Statista

However, it must be taken into account that the costs associated with the new stadiums in Qatar are only in the order of $6.5 billion to $10 billion. This is a significant increase on the US$4 billion originally proposed, however, the bulk of the spending is infrastructure costs that are part of the broader Qatar 2030 plan. These include the construction of an innovation center with hotels, a sophisticated metro network, stadiums and airports.

The World Cup in Qatar has come under international criticism not only for its high cost, but above all for human rights violations. In a report, Amnesty International criticized the failure of Qatari authorities to investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers over the past decade, despite evidence linking their premature deaths to dangerous working conditions.

According to Amnesty International, official statistics show that a total of 15,021 nationals of other countries died in Qatar between 2010 and 2019. Government data does not show how many workers died during preparations for the World Cup, it said. Qatar’s Supreme Committee has noted that a total of 35 workers have died on World Cup projects it has supervised since 2015. However, there is no estimate of how many workers had died on other infrastructure projects related to the staging of the tournament.

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