The FIFA World Cup 2022, to be hosted by Qatar later this year, is inarguably the most anticipated sporting event in the world this year. The tournament will see the best teams from across the world go head-to-head in a bid to call themselves the World Champions.
The FIFA World Cup is equally loved by players and fans, not just because of the matches but also the carnival-like atmosphere created in the host country. Be it South Africa, Brazil or Russia, fans from different countries flock to the host nation to support and cheer for their country. This results in an experience like none other, where the fans are able to create memories of a lifetime.
Even though the Indian national football team has never played in the mega-event, the interest for the sport is significant. Speaking at the launch event of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Hospitality Programme in Mumbai, John Parker of BH Hospitality (Official FIFA Hospitality rights holder) said, “We have seen a steady increase in the interest from India to attend the World Cup. Indians love their football but also they love to travel and they love their sport. The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, so it’s coming together of cultures from all over the world.”
India’s absence from the World Cup doesn’t hold back the passion of the Indians for the game and the event, feels Parker. He continued, “Actually they always go to a world cup with an open mind. They want to watch good football, anybody.”
Fanatic Sports, established six years back, had been appointed as the joint exclusive sales agent of Match Hospitality in India for the sale of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Official Hospitality Programme. Raghav Gupta, founder and CEO of Fanatic Sports spoke about the power of an Indian fan across all sports in the world. “The Indian fan is probably the most powerful fan in the world. The spending power of the Indian middle class and the passion that Indian fan has, I think we’ve been underestimated in the last 50 years,” he said.
The infrastructure development in Qatar leading up to the World Cup has been fascinating. With world-class stadiums equipped with cooling technology, the tournament is set to be a treat for the travelling fans. “Qatar has created mind blowing infrastructure. The stadiums are the best in the world or among Stadiums are the best in the world or among the best in the world in terms of infrastructure, in terms of the whole ambience, in terms of the facilities for both the players and the fans.”
Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri, who was present at the event as a chief guest, heaped praises on the stadiums in Qatar and urged fans to travel for the World Cup if they are able to. “The stadiums are extraordinary. Some of the hotels and stadiums are just amazing. You can have a lovely experience,” he said. Chhetri continued, speaking about the benefits of the hospitality programme offered by Fanatic Sports. “When you’re travelling with your family, booking and everything is a headache. What I think is that if you can just book the programme and enjoy the experience without having to worry about other things, it is very useful.”