Qatar releases dubious World Cup attendance estimates, despite hundreds of vacant seats.
Despite hundreds of empty seats, Qatar announces questionable World Cup attendance numbers.
Following reports of thousands of vacant seats at World Cup games on Monday, Qatar and FIFA are under fresh scrutiny.
The official attendance estimates are particularly puzzling because every game thus far has had a record-high crowd that exceeds the stadium’s capacity.
Although the Al Bayt Stadium can accommodate 60,000 people, an official attendance of 67,372 was reported for Qatar’s tournament opener versus Ecuador on Sunday. Additionally, a substantial portion of the stadium’s seats remained empty at the halftime interval.
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The same thing happened when England faced Iran in their World Cup opening, leaving Three Lions fans stranded outside the Khalifa International Stadium due to a problem with FIFA’s ticketing system.
Despite the stadium’s official capacity being 40,000, an attendance number of 45,334 was reported for that game.
At the Al Thumama Stadium, where the Netherlands defeated Senegal in the second game of the day, large areas of vacant seats could be spotted.
Despite the stadium’s nominal capacity of 40,000, a reported attendance of 41,721 was made.
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 around the venue was not given.