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World Cup: With 766,000 visitors, Qatar falls short of expected 1.2 million influx

Organisers aren't anticipating masses more fans with only eight of the tournaments 64 games remaining
Supporters of Switzerland cheer ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup match with Portugal at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, 6 December 2022 (AFP)

Qatar has welcomed almost 766,000 visitors and football fans during the first two weeks of the World Cup, according to official data obtained by Reuters.

The figure falls short of the 1.2 million visitors Qatar expected to host during the month-long event, with only eight football matches left of the tournament's total of 64.

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A report by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), the body in charge of organising the World Cup, said 765,859 international travellers visited Qatar in the first 17 days of the World Cup, which kicked off on 20 November. Half of the visitors have already departed the country.

SC is not expecting a huge influx of new visitors to Qatar in the upcoming days, with only 87.5 percent of the tournament's games already played.

The organisers said the period between 24-28 November - during the group stage, when four matches were played daily - would likely show peak visitor numbers.

The report registered 1.33 million match ticket holders and 3.09 million tickets sold across the eight stadiums in Qatar for the tournament, which ends on 18 December.

Reuters reported that the influx of visitors represents a 25 percent boost to the country's resident population of three million, of which only 10-12 percent are Qataris.

The document said the cumulative stadium attendance at the first 52 matches was 2.65 million.

Some extra visitors are expected to come to Qatar for the final matches, Reuters reported, after the country lifted entry restrictions for nationals and residents of fellow Gulf states.

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