FIFA president, Gianni Infantino has described the current 2022 World Cup as the ‘best in history’ after the group matches and the Round of 16, with record attendance and television viewing figures around the world.
The president praised the quality of football from the 32 teams that competed in the group stage.
“I have seen all the matches, in fact, and to put it very simply and clearly, this has been the best group stage of a World Cup. The matches have been of great, great quality in great stadiums, we already knew that. However, on top of that, the crowds have been incredible. More than 51,000 fans on average,” Infantino said.
“We have more than two billion spectators, which is really incredible. Two and a half million people on the streets of Doha and a few hundred thousand every day in the stadiums, all together, cheering together, supporting their teams, a fantastic atmosphere, great goals, incredible excitement and surprises.”
For the first time in the tournament’s history, teams from every continent were represented in the Round of 16.
Among those competing at this stage were three nations from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), another first for the tournament, and two from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), for only the second time in history.
“There are no small teams or big teams anymore,” Infantino said. “The level is very, very even. For the first time also, national teams from all continents are going through to the knockout stage, for the first time in history. This shows that football is becoming truly global.
“I am sure we will reach five billion viewers worldwide. As far as stadium attendance is concerned, the stadiums are full for almost every match.”
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