The Newsroom Episode 12: Checking in on the 2022 World Cup
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FIFA Brings in Record Haul for Scandal-Plagued World Cup

  • FIFA said it will earn a record $7.5 billion in this four-year cycle.
  • Qatar's treatment of media members has caused alarm.
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

A steady stream of controversy hasn’t stopped FIFA from earning an incredible sum from this year’s World Cup.

Soccer’s global governing body said Sunday that it banked a record $7.5 billion in commercial deals for the four years associated with this World Cup.

  • That sum represents an increase of more than $1 billion from the four-year cycle associated with the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
  • Sponsors from host country Qatar helped drive revenue. Qatar Energy is a top-tier sponsor of the tournament, while bank QNB and telecom company Ooredoo are third-tier.
  • FIFA’s reserves will reach around $2.5 billion.

The tournament could reach over 5 billion viewers, more than 60% of the world’s population.

Watching the Media

The nature of the media coverage and treatment of media members have both received ample negative attention in the tournament’s early stages. 

Writer Grant Wahl said he was detained and had his phone temporarily confiscated for refusing to take off a shirt that showed a soccer ball surrounded by a circular rainbow. Security officials said the shirt was political and could lead to issues in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal. 

New York Times reporter Andrew Das was also briefly detained after Wahl told him what was happening in the middle of the incident.

Fox, which holds English-language rights to the World Cup in the U.S., has received broad criticism for ignoring Qatar’s human rights issues.