About 2.4 mln people attend first 48 games
After the dramatic outcomes of the group stages, Gianni Infantino has praised this World Cup as “the best ever.” This was further bolstered by the fact that each continent was represented in the knockout stage for the first time ever, as well as by the television viewership and attendance records that were broken.
The president of FIFA announced that numbers showed that the global TV audience had surpassed two billion people. Over one million people have visited the FIFA Fan Festival, while over two million people have already gone to games.
Infantino lauded the caliber of the football played by the 32 teams that fought in the group stage as the competition moved into the quarterfinal stage.” This has been the best group stage of a FIFA World Cup ever, to put it simply and frankly, and it is therefore highly encouraging for the remainder of the FIFA World Cup.”
Infantino added that the crowd size in stadiums hovered around 51,000 on average. His objective, according to a statement from FIFA, has been to work with member associations and confederations to boost international competition.
With three teams from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)—another first for the tournament—and two from the Confederation of African Football (CAF)—only the second time in FIFA World Cup history—this ambition is gradually beginning to take shape.
These developments can only be good things for the future growth of world football, according to Infantino.
“There are no more small teams and no more big teams. The level is very, very equal. For the first time as well, national teams from all continents are going into the knock-out phase, for the first time in history. This shows that football is really becoming truly global,” the FIFA president added.
Figures released at the end of the group stage revealed a total attendance of 2.45 million for the first 48 games, with the first knockout round including a total of 28 goals across the eight games played—the most since the round of 16 was instituted in 1986.
Infantino is confident that the FIFA World Cup will continue and end as it has begun—a success. He hopes to reach five billion viewers before the new world champions are crowned at Lusail Stadium on December 18.