November 28, 2022

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Claus Andersen

– Qatar World Cup for the rich only – NRK Norway – Overview of news from across the country

If you are going to the World Cup in Qatar, you must purchase tickets for the matches before accessing the accommodation offers.

– Our members have purchased tickets. But what we’re seeing is that many of them can’t travel anyway.

So says Ronan Even, CEO of Football Supporters Europe (FSE).

FSE has calculated the cheapest possible budget for Western European fans who want to follow their team to the end.

According to Even, it is difficult to do this for less than NOK 80,000. It is two to three times more expensive than the World Cup in Russia or Brazil.

FSE members experience excluded.

– Fans say they’re overpriced, says Even.

Expensive toilet

Never before has Fifa sold so many VIP packages this year. They brag about it.

Qatar is the most successful VIP program to date. With a month to go until the tournament kicks off, revenue from the sale of VIP packages is nearly 10 percent higher than that generated after the World Cup in Brazil, which was the best in terms of VIP sales.

This is what FIFA writes to NRK in an email.

Ticket prices for matches have skyrocketed compared to the World Cup in Russia, according to Statista. The final ticket is 46 percent more expensive.

Hotel prices are also high. The cheapest option, a bed in a two-star shared room, costs NOK 858 per night, according to VMs. official residence agency.

And plane tickets? Only 47 percent of seats booked for Qatar over the World Cup period are economy tickets, according to analysis firm ForwardKeys.

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In the same period in 2019, the last “normal” year before the pandemic, the share of economy class fares was 69 percent.

– WC diameter is a first-order event, according to NRK’s ​​ForwardKeys.

Football nerd Claus Andersen is always on the go all year round. “I am happy to meet people from all over the world as often as I can,” he says.

Photo: private

You should give up the restroom this year

Dane Klaus Andersen calls himself a football nerd. My livelihood is my job as a freelance tour guide in the tourism industry.

In the off-season, he cycles around the world to watch football matches and meet fans. According to Andersen, he has participated in football matches in 40 countries in the past three years.

The World Cup is definitely the best football event he knows. He’s been in four toilets before.

– It is an international party for football fans from all over the world. It is indescribable, he says, to sit in the stadium with so many fans who have the same unspeakable passion.

Andersen had planned to ride the longest section of the route between Denmark and Qatar this year, but had to change that plan. Hotel prices are the main reason.

– I can’t bike that far to be there for a few days. And if I were to stay there for one month, which I usually do when it’s the World Cup, staying on my own would cost me at least NOK 55,000 – if I could find some free space in the more modest accommodation options.

This amount is double the budget for his entire tour during the World Cup Russia four years ago.

– I know a lot of people who sell match tickets. When they had to find a place to stay, the cheapest accommodation offers were already taken. Andersen says the Qatar toilet is only for the wealthy.

I think rich fans don’t create a good atmosphere

Andersen believes the best World Cup experience is what happens in the final hours before a match starts. Especially during group matches, which are the cheapest.

– Then we enter the stadium in crowds. These are the fans who have saved money over several years to be able to travel and support their favorite team. Much love, much passion. He claims I’ve met fans who sold their homes.

The cyclist, as he likes to be called, thinks these fans are real “superfans.”

– Because of the prices, there will be fewer big fans in WC Qatar. It will do something with the atmosphere. It will be very boring, says Andersen.

What do you mean it gets boring when the fans are rich?

– Maybe the wrong boring word. But there will certainly be less atmosphere, especially during group matches. Rich fans see prestige in going to the final because final tickets are very expensive. There they meet other rich admirers. Many of them go to the networks, Andersen says, and talk about business.

Klaus Andersen

Klaus Andersen exchanges T-shirts and scarves with fans he meets in other countries.

Photo: private

Going to meet fans in another country

Although Andersen will not travel to WC Qatar, he found a workaround.

– I’m going to Istanbul. It is a city with many international football experts. Many clubs and cafes broadcast matches. Every day I will be in a new cafe.

Andersen believes it won’t be the same as being on the field, but it is a relief for him that he will be meeting other committed fans.

It takes a week for Andersen to throw his backpack and leave.

– It’s not fun when you’re watching the game from a distance and in slow motion. At the same time, there is no Turk who does not have a favorite team, and it is these discussions that I look forward to the most. Andersen says I also love exchanging T-shirts and scarves with fans I meet.