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Qatar aims to keep World Cup affordable despite COVID fall-out
Reuters 600px 600px
  • 20 May 20
  • Soccer
  • 4
FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the Lusail stadium which is under construction for the upcoming 2022 Fifa soccer World Cup during a stadium tour in Doha, Qatar, December 20, 2019.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach 691px 444px FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the Lusail stadium which is under construction for the upcoming 2022 Fifa soccer World Cup during a stadium tour in Doha, Qatar, December 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

By Simon Evans

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - The head of Qatar's 2022 World Cup organising committee has vowed to ensure the tournament remains affordable for fans despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.

The gulf state will host the 32-nation tournament in November and December 2022 and while Hassan Al Thawadi, head of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, is hopeful the public health situation will be vastly improved he acknowledges the ripple-effects for the economy will be a challenge.

"What is recovery going to look like? It is all, right now, unclear, we are entering into a recession, there is always a concern about the global economy and the ability of fans to be able to afford travel and coming to participate and celebrate the World Cup," he said, speaking at Leaders in Sport’s online forum, LeadersWeek.direct.

Al Thawadi said he had been consulting with industry experts and also planned to engage with other major sports events, such as the Tokyo Olympics, which has been postponed to 2021 from this year, as Qatar looks to respond to the crisis.

A key element in planning, he said, would be to ensure that the event did not price-out supporters.

"We have always said from day one that this will be an affordable tournament, we want anyone who wants to come to the World Cup to be able to come," he said.

"Now, with the uncertainty of what it is going to look like post-COVID, there is no clear blueprint that I can sit down and discuss.

"(But) we are still committed to creating a balance between an affordable World Cup, at a price-rate which is affordable for fans, and at the same time a price-range which is affordable and functionable for the industry, for the service providers, for the supply chain, that is in responsible for delivering the World Cup," he added.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

2019 English PL Fixtures & Results

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2019/2020 UEFA Champions League
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2019 English PL Standings

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  • Group
  • e
Pts P W D L GF GA +/- Pts
1 Liverpool LIV 89 33 29 2 2 72 25 +47 89
2 Manchester City MAC 66 33 21 3 9 81 34 +47 66
3 Leicester City LEI 58 33 17 7 9 63 31 +32 58
4 Chelsea CHE 57 33 17 6 10 60 44 +16 57
5 Manchester United MUN 55 33 15 10 8 56 33 +23 55
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers WOL 52 33 13 13 7 45 36 +9 52
7 Arsenal ARS 49 33 12 13 8 49 41 +8 49
8 Tottenham Hotspur TOT 48 33 13 9 11 52 44 +8 48
9 Sheffield United SHE 48 33 12 12 9 34 33 +1 48
10 Burnley BUR 46 33 13 7 13 37 46 -9 46
11 Everton EVE 44 33 12 8 13 40 48 -8 44
12 Newcastle United NEW 43 33 11 10 12 35 45 -10 43
13 Southampton SOU 43 33 13 4 16 42 55 -13 43
14 Crystal Palace CRY 42 33 11 9 13 28 40 -12 42
15 Brighton & Hove Albion BRI 36 33 8 12 13 35 44 -9 36
16 West Ham United WES 31 33 8 7 18 40 58 -18 31
17 Watford WAT 28 33 6 10 17 29 52 -23 28
18 Aston Villa AST 27 33 7 6 20 36 62 -26 27
19 AFC Bournemouth BOU 27 33 7 6 20 32 59 -27 27
20 Norwich City NOR 21 33 5 6 22 25 61 -36 21
*e1 & e2 advances to R16, e3 possible R16
2019/2020 Premier League
2019/2020 Bundesliga
2019/2020 Serie A
2019/2020 La Liga
2019/2020 UEFA Champions League
2019/2020 UEFA Europa League
2019/2020 A-League
2018/2019 Ligue 1
2018/2019 Primeira Liga
2018 World Cup