Many people interacted with the numbers of spectators that were mentioned over the stadium sound system during the first matches of the World Cup.
The match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia was the first match to be played at Lusail Sports Stadium, which was said to have a capacity of 80,000 fans. Despite the huge capacity, the announcer again announced the number of spectators higher than the maximum capacity claimed.
Rory Smith of The New York Times watched the game at the stadium and was among the surprised audience.
Lusail’s capacity is officially 80,000. It’s about 90 percent full today, I’ll say. It was just announced that today’s attendance is 88,012. It looks more and more as if Qatar has only guessed at the size of these stadiums.
Also during Denmark’s match against Tunisia, where Netavisen was present, there were noticeably many empty seats in the stands.
In FIFA’s media guide, the capacity was stated to be 44,667, while the figure for Tuesday’s match was as high as 43,000 according to the stadium poster.
Most of the reason there are more than 40,000 people must be the Tunisian fans. There were only a few Danes in Qatar, while the Tunisians led a violent life.
– It was really noisy. You could hear the Tunisian fans, and they really created life,” Denmark star Kasper Dolberg said in the press area after the match, where Netavien was present.
This is how FIFA explains it
FIFA was contacted by Netavizn, who came up with an explanation for the confusion.
The amounts indicated [40,000, 60,000 og 80,000] It is a capacity that meets FIFA requirements. The total capacity of the stadiums is higher, and was only finally decided after all operational arrangements had been made, a FIFA spokesperson wrote in an email to Nettavisen.
In the image above, we can see that the Lusail Sports Stadium, where the Argentina-Saudi Arabia match was held, already has a capacity of 88,966 spectators. Thus, the announced number of spectators of 88,012 is not more than the capacity of the stadium.
It also shows that the announced attendance figures for Monday’s matches, which ranged between 41,000 and 43,000, are also within stadium capacity for their respective venues.
Doubts still hung over the legitimacy of the attendance figures, even if the stadiums were large enough to accommodate the numbers.
In many World Cup matches, many empty seats could be seen in the stands, giving fertile ground for suspicion as to how FIFA calculated attendance figures.
Netavisen gave the notes to a FIFA spokesperson, and asked how they calculated the number of spectators. Questions have also been raised about whether FIFA intentionally manipulated attendance figures to create the illusion that stadiums are more full than they are.
The spokesperson answered questions, only pointing to the FIFA website where the announced numbers of spectators are located.
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