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FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to Set Record Spending, Reveals Visa

Visa, the official payment technology partner of FIFA, has released spending data from Visa cards across all official FIFA World Cup venues. The data covers Qatar’s opening game loss to Ecuador on 20 November until the conclusion of the final set of group stage games on 2 December. 

The Qatar 2022 World Cup has not been without its controversy. In 2021, The Guardian reported that over 6500 South Asian migrant workers had died in Qatar during the preparation for the tournament. Many decided to boycott the tournament altogether in response to concerns about human rights in Qatar. The country’s treatment of women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and migrant workers has been called into question.

Despite numerous negative headlines in the buildup, it appears that total consumer spend has soared in recent data released by Visa. Total spending in Qatar 2022 is close to surpassing the total spending across the entire 2018 FIFA World Cup. As of 2 December, 89 per cent of the value spent across the entire tournament in Russia had already been spent before a single 2022 knockout game had kicked off.

Qatar 2022 has already dramatically overtaken the total spend at the 2014 FIFA World Cup (192 per cent).

Stadium Spending

Visa’s data also reveals that 88 per cent of Visa payments at official Qatar 2022 venues have been contactless. Al Janoub stadium had the highest proportion of contactless payments, as 91 per cent of all transactions were contactless. Meanwhile, the single match with the highest proportion of contactless payments was between Poland and KSA (96 per cent).

Stadium 974 had the highest average transaction amount during the group stages, with a $25 average. The stadium saw an average total of $15 on food and beverage purchases. Stadium 974 also saw an average of $80 spent on merchandise.

Lusail Stadium led the group-stage stadium leaderboard for the total number of payment transactions. The stadium had 22 of its payment volume coming from Qatar-issued Visa cards, with 78 per cent originating from international Visa cards.

Overall, the average in-stadium transaction amount for all matches during the group stage of the tournament play was $23. Across the first stage of matches, the top three spending categories were merchandise (47 per cent), food and beverages (36 per cent) and FIFA ticketing (11 per cent).

Fanatics continue to spend

Seventy per cent of total consumer spending by value at official World Cup venues was on internationally issued Visa cards. The United States led the spending (18 per cent), beating Mexico (9 per cent) and KSA (8 per cent).

Visa have also revealed the top five matches for total consumer spending during the game:

  1. KSA vs Mexico: 5.1 per cent of the total spend
  2. Argentina vs Mexico: 4.7 per cent
  3. Cameroon vs Brazil: 3.7 per cent
  4. Portugal vs Uruguay: 3.6 per cent
  5. Qatar vs Ecuador: 3.6 per cent

During the Argentina and Mexico group stage game, Mexican cardholders spent almost four times more than Argentinian cardholders. Mexican cardholders accounted for 29 per cent of spending, while Argentinian cardholders accounted for eight per cent.

Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, SVP and group country manager in the gulf cooperation council for Visa, explained why spending has continued to rise. Dr. Jaffar commented: “For Qatar 2022, Visa enabled more payment terminals in official venues than ever before. It is trialling some innovative new ways to pay around Qatar, so paying for things can be less cumbersome and fans can stay in the moment and focus on the beautiful game.”

Across all FIFA official venues in Qatar, 5,300 Visa contactless payment terminals are available, enabling fans to pay with Visa credit, debit or pre-loaded Visa gift cards.

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