Qatar release dubious World Cup attendance figures despite thousands of empty seats

Qatar and FIFA are under a fresh scrutiny after thousands of empty seats were seen in Monday’s World Cup games.

But, there is also bemusement at the official attendance figures as every match so far has a record which is higher than the capacity of the stadium.

For Qatar’s tournament opening game against Ecuador on Sunday, an official attendance of 67,372 was announced, despite the Stadium having a capacity of 60,000, while a huge number of empty seats were also evident from the half-time break.

It was the same for England’s World Cup opening match against Iran, which saw Three Lions fans left stuck outside the Khalifa International Stadium due to a mistake with FIFA’s ticketing app.

An attendance figure for that game was announced at 45,334, despite the stadium’s capacity being 40,000.

Qatar 0-2 Ecuador: 67,372 (Official capacity: 60,000)
England 6-2 Iran: 45,334 (Official capacity: 40,000)
Senegal 0-2 Netherlands: 41,721 (Official capacity: 40,000)
USA 1-1 Wales: 43,418 (Official capacity: 40,000)

Meanwhile, empty seats could also be seen at the Al Thumama Stadium in the second game of the day on Monday as Netherlands beat Senegal.

An official attendance of 41,721 was announced for the game even though the stadium has an official capacity of 40,000.

FIFA claims that the Al Thumama Stadium in ‘event mode’ raises its capacity to 44,400, but a reason for the thousands of empty seats was not given.

For Wales’ 1-1 draw with USA, an attendance figure of 43,418 was recorded, but once again, the stadium’s capacity is 40,000.


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