FIFA's World Cup selections in numbers

With the majority of the globe still seething, editor of Champions magazine Paul Simpson runs through a few telling figures...

If you’re baffled, disgusted or just stunned by FIFA awarding World Cups to Russia and Qatar, here are some stats to put the bidding process in perspective.

3,141,000 tickets will be on sale for the 2018 World Cup in Russia – the lowest of any of the four bids. The projected ticket sales for Russia’s rivals were: 3,304,000 (Holland/Belgium), 3,397,000 (England) and 3,674,000 (Spain/Portugal). The disparity is even more glaring in 2022. Hosts Qatar will have 2,869,000 tickets on sale – a quite remarkable 2,088,000 fewer bums on seats than the USA bid had projected.

£2.4bn is the minimum Russia will need to invest in stadiums. Some pundits say the 2018 hosts will have to invest twice as much again in infrastructure – that would send the total spend soaring over £7bn. The real cost could be significantly higher, given that Russia’s spend on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics is now £12.9bn over its official budget of £6.4bn. For 2022, Qatar will spend around £1.92bn on construction and renovation and £32.1bn on infrastructure.

Some estimates say the bill for construction and infrastructure for the 2010 World Cup was around £19.3bn. Brazil will probably spend around £27.6bn on 2014. The construction spend envisaged by England’s 2018 bid – around £1.62bn – is small beer in comparison.

If you want to pick a successful World Cup host in advance, the obvious lesson, as Deep Throat urged Bernstein and Woodward in All the President’s Men, is: “Follow the money”. Construction giants like Bechtel might be more appropriate tournament sponsors than Budweiser.

113 is the current FIFA ranking for Qatar.

One - the number of buffoons in this picture...

154 is Russia’s rank on the Transparency International’s index of corrupt nations. (The lower your ranking, the more corrupt you are perceived to be.) This means that Transparency International thinks the 2018 hosts are a bit more crooked than Haiti.

£75,000 is one unconfirmed estimate of how much the Mail on Sunday paid Melissa Jacobs for cooking Lord Triesman’s goose. The paper didn’t instigate the sting. The News of the World had already turned down the story. If anything, the downfall of FA supremo Triesman smacks of the kind of entrapment practiced by intelligence services since the world’s second oldest profession began. Jacobs’ mysterious return from America (where she was being treated for obsessive compulsive disorder) to charm her old boss (who obviously doted on her) and secretly tape him making some injudicious remarks in a patisserie was perfectly timed – for England’s rivals. The revelations broke in May, just before the game’s most influential apparatchiks gathered in Madrid for the UEFA Champions League final.

2 votes for England to stage 2018. Blaming Panorama and the Sunday Times is easy – but stupid. If FIFA’s process in selecting World Cup hosts is valid, the 22 delegates who vote should not resent or fear media scrutiny. It might suit certain FIFA delegates to suggest they are being persecuted by a biased, neo-colonialist British media, but the latest charges against FIFA vice-president Jack Warner surfaced this August in the respected Norwegian daily Dagbladet.

26.6 degrees Centigrade is the predicted temperature on the pitch during 2022 World Cup matches – and that’s with a high-tech cooling system coming to the rescue.

2 World Cup bids were not given an overall ‘low risk’ rating by FIFA’s technical inspectors: Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022). One bid was designated a high risk: Qatar’s.

38 pence. According to the Christian Science Monitor, this is the hourly wage paid to Nepali labourer Rajan Sapkota, one of the hundreds of thousands of foreign workers in Qatar. In contrast, the average annual wage for a Qatari citizen is £52,962 a year, the highest in the world.

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