Huge Commercial Potential from FIFA World Cup in the Middle East
Research carried out by Grant Thornton, the respected global advisory services firm, has outlined the scale of potential commercial and football development opportunities to FIFA and the global football family if Qatar is awarded the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The research, commissioned by Qatar 2022, confirms that football is the number one sport in the Middle East ,that the region has massive untapped football development potential, and that Qatar will deliver a commercially successful FIFA World Cup and act as the catalyst to help drive the growth of football across the Middle East. Key findings of the Grant Thornton report include: ◦The award of the FIFA World Cup to Qatar in 2010 would grow the value of football in the region by $14 billion by 2022 [52%] and by a further $10 billion [46%] by 2042 ◦Given the central location of Qatar, 82% of the world's time zones would receive Qatar 2022 games live in prime time, with a potential match day peak audience of 3.2 billion viewers; this has the potential to create an enhanced rights value for FIFA ◦A FIFA World Cup in Qatar will help increase football match attendances across the region in 2022 by 13.4% - an additional 4.2 million spectators [this excludes World Cup attendance] ◦Football pay TV broadcast rights in the region are expected to rise by 30% to $550 million by 2022 if the FIFA World Cup is held in the Middle East ◦Female football participation in the Middle East has grown from less than 0.2% in 2000 to 3.3% in 2006 (FIFA Big Count), still short of the 10% level in mature football markets, indicating massive growth potential which the World Cup in the region could unlock ◦If the region reaches penetration levels similar to more mature markets, 140 million additional football players across all levels could occur Half of all visitors to a FIFA World Cup in Qatar from the Middle East are expected to be women and 97% of them are expected to attend matches ◦Middle East proximity to European and Asian markets is likely to enhance the commercial value of hospitality rights compared to South Africa 2010 ◦Given Qatar's proximity to India, a FIFA World Cup in Qatar would help drive interest in football across an Indian population of over 1.1 billion. Hassan Al Thawadi, CEO of Qatar 2022 said: "Grant Thornton's report helps to quantify the significant commercial and football development opportunities for FIFA and football if the Middle East has the historic opportunity to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. We can see many millions of new fans participating, watching and consuming football. "We know the passion for football in the Middle East. The missing piece of the jigsaw is having the FIFA World Cup as the catalyst to unlock a whole new generation of fans and players. This report adds to our belief that a FIFA World Cup in the Middle East in 2022 would not only make history but also open up a significant and exciting new football frontier for FIFA and its partners." Grant Salter, Director from Grant Thornton said: "The passion for football in the Middle East and the enthusiastic support for Qatar's Bid to host the FIFA World Cup in the region for the first time is evident wherever one travels in the Middle East. We are excited to be part of a process of what we hope will be part of football and Middle East history."
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