No, Qatar has not spent $220 billion on World Cup stadiums
Contrary to persistent claims made in the international press, Qatar has not spent $220 billion on new stadiums for the World Cup, and claims that this is the most expensive world cup in history are inaccurate, according to fact checking service Misbar.
The real figure spent on World Cup projects and expenses is closer to $8 billion, according to Nasser Al-Khater, CEO of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
While Qatar did spend tens of billions of dollars on infrastructure, including new airport terminals, ports, roads and a light rail system, Qatari officials insist this is part of a long-term development vision agreed in 2008 as the Qatar National Vision 2030, predating the bid to host the 2022 world cup.
Qatar officials say direct Qatari spending on the world cup is on par with the last two editions of the FIFA event: The last world cup hosted by Russia in 2018 cost $11.6 billion, while Brazil spent around $15 billion to host the 2014 tournament, according to official figures.
The Qatar World Cup is projected to attract at least 700,000 fans, and bring in tens of billions of dollars. The government expects it to raise the country’s GDP by 1.5 percent.
The tournament kicks off on 20 November and runs until 18 December.