FIFA reports 94 per cent attendance for first week of World Cup despite evident empty seats
Qatar World Cup stadiums were 94 per cent full for the first round of matches, according to FIFA, despite empty seats being clearly visible in almost every fixture.
Lusail Stadium, which will host the final, was previously listed as an 80,000-seater arena, while Al Bayt Stadium was said to hold 60,000 people. Each of the other six stadiums were down as holding no more than 40,000.
FIFA has now clarified official capacities for the stadia, with each ground significantly bigger than previously reported.
The showpiece stadium in Lusail can allow 88,966 spectators in, with 68,895 seats at Al Khor's Al Bayt Stadium. The six supposed 40,000-seater stadiums are each also larger than first suggested.
The additional seating – presumably unsold until the capacities were finalised – would account for the large gaps in the crowds, yet FIFA is reporting the stadiums have been 94 per cent full.
The highest recorded attendance ahead of Friday's action was 88,103 in Lusail to watch Brazil beat Serbia 2-0 the previous day.