Qatar 2022, the organization bidding to bring the FIFA World Cup to the Middle East for the first time, today announced that it has over 500,000 fans on its official Facebook page, the highest by far of any nation bidding for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.
The countries where fans have clicked "like" for Qatar's World Cup bid include Egypt [90,000], Jordan [45,000], Saudi Arabia [38,000], Qatar [31,000], Lebanon [23,000], Palestine [18,000] and Israel [10,000]. Strong support is also coming from as far afield as Nigeria [22,000], Ghana [17,000], the USA [14,000], Kenya [14,000] and South Africa [6,000].
Commenting on Qatar 2022's online support, Qatar 2022 Bid CEO Hassan Al Thawadi said: "There is a groundswell of public support building for our bid across the Middle East and further afield, and these numbers back that up. Our online support is particularly impressive given lower internet penetration in the Middle East, especially when compared to North America and Europe. Most of it is coming from young people aged 13-24 and, interestingly, around a quarter is from girls and women.
"Our online support represents just the tip of the iceberg for a region that is passionate about football. With the population of the Middle East set to double to over 700 million in the next decade, over half of whom will be under 30, there are huge opportunities to grow the game across the Middle East and this is something we will be communicating to FIFA when we present to its Executive Committee next week."