Doha, 7 December 2022 - FIFA President Gianni Infantino described the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as the 'best ever,' following dramatic matches across all eight groups, record-breaking attendances and television figures across the world, and the FIFA Fan Festival in Doha proving hugely popular with fans supporting nations from every corner of the world.
In an interview published today by FIFA's official website, Infantino praised the quality of the football involving the 32 teams that competed in the group stage - and highlighted the passion shown in the stadiums, FIFA Fan Festival and fan parks around Qatar.
"I have seen all the matches, indeed, and put very simply and very clearly, this has been the best group stage of a FIFA World Cup ever. So, it's very promising for the remainder of the FIFA World Cup," the FIFA President said. "The matches have been of great, great quality in beautiful stadiums - we knew that already. However, as well, the public who was there was incredible. Over 51,000 on average."
Infantino continued: "Record-breaking figures on TV - we already had over two billion viewers, which is really incredible. Two-and-a-half million people in the streets of Doha and a few hundred thousand every day in the stadiums, all together, cheering together, supporting their teams, fantastic atmosphere, great goals, incredible excitement and surprises."
"There are no more small teams and no more big teams," the FIFA President said. "The level is very, very equal. For the first time as well, national teams from all continents going to the knock-out phase, for the first time in history. This shows that football is really becoming truly global."
"We hope that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 continues and concludes as it has started - a fantastic success. I am sure that we will reach the five billion viewers around the world," President Infantino continued. "When it comes to stadium attendances, the stadiums are sold-out, full practically at every match. The fan festivals, the different fan zones, are also very crowded with people celebrating and enjoying."
In conclusion, Infantino said: "And at the end of the day, we simply want to give some joy and some smiles to people all over the world. That's what football is about, that's what the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is about, and that's what should also happen from now until the end."