'Record-breaking' demand for Qatar 2022 World Cup with over a million tickets sold
A "record-breaking" demand for tickets to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been reached, according to the tournament’s chief organiser.
Around 1.2 million tickets have been sold, Hassan Al-Thawadi told the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on Wednesday, as the Gulf state - with a population of around 2.4 million - prepares to receive an influx of visitors.
"I think about 1.2 million tickets have already been purchased… So people are actually buying and people are excited to come there. There's no doubt about that," Al-Thawadi said.
Over 40 million ticket requests were made in the first two phases of online sales - with 17 million made in the first and 23 million in the second, according to organising committee officials.
Five million ticket requests were specifically made for the final, which will take place at the 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium, according to FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Two million tickets will be sold for the highly anticipated event in total, as another million will be reserved for world body FIFA and sponsors.
Neighbouring Gulf countries, such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman, are also due to host fans - easing pressure on Doha to provide accommodation.
Over 160 round-trip shuttle flights per day will bring visitors back and forth between the countries and Doha.
Tickets were launched in January at reduced prices with residents and migrant workers able to attend matches for just $11, as ticket prices for foreign fans reached $69.
The tournament - held once every four years - is scheduled to take place between 21 November and 18 December, and will be the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East.
It will also be the first men's World Cup tournament to feature women referees with three selected as referees and another three as assistants.