The FIFA World Cup is hands down, the grandest and the most prestigious sporting event in the world. This is not surprising, considering that football is the most popular sport, having fans from all inhabited continents.
The event occurs once every four years, and each season, a host country or countries were selected. The matches are also drawing spectators from all over the world, traveling long distances to witness the event.
Having mentioned that each event is hosted by a nation, sometimes it is baffling to know the logistics behind these monumental events.
Well, stay in your seat, because I am discussing some of the requirements in infrastructures and logistics that host countries must meet before being qualified to host a FIFA World Cup event.
It is true that hosting the World Cup is such a huge privilege, it is something that many nations are aiming for. However, hosting such a celebratory event has its own fair share of disadvantages too.
Aside from the costs of preparation and managing the event, the host country also must meet the requirements of the World Cup in infrastructure and other standards which causes a lot of pressure on the part of the host nation.
Back in 2014, Brazil spent $15 billion in preparation for hosting the event, it was considered the biggest amount spent on a sporting event at that time.
Out of all the infrastructures needed for the World Cup, the stadium is probably the most important element of the tournament because it is where the matches are being held.
The construction and renovation of several stadia is considered as the largest cost in accommodating the World Cup.
In the majority of the nations, existing stadiums are located in capital cities, however, FIFA insists that stadiums must be dispersed throughout the nation. To accommodate this, countries that do not have existing stadiums build temporary stadiums that can be repurposed as an arena after the event.
Building and managing stadiums are an expensive undertaking, not to mention that most stadiums are prone to being abandoned and deteriorating after the event.
FIFA, the governing body of world football, requires the host country to have 12 stadiums with a capacity of 40,000 to 80,000 each. Also, each national team has to have their own base camp and training grounds.
As for the transportation requirements, the host country must have an airport near the arenas with a capacity of accommodating 1,450 passengers per hour.
Also, the host nation needs to be capable of accommodating a limited demand on the influx of fans going into the cities to watch the event. This includes: runways, taxi services, immigration and police checkpoints, shuttles, terminals and roads.
Hotel accommodations are needed to house the teams, coaches, and other staff from the event, as well as the local and international fans that will watch the event.
Host countries must meet the requirements of FIFA in accommodation which includes, at least 4 hotels near the stadium, 72 base camps for players and their companies, and a minimum of 1,760 to 8,080 hotel rooms for spectators.
The upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar has caused the host country to build an entire 38-square-mile metropolis from scratch on a desert to accommodate the event which includes 22 new hotels, a stadium, a luxury resort, a 56,000 sqm mall, restaurants, amusement park, and a zoo.
All of these are solar-powered and the £25 billion futuristic project was named The City of Lusail, specifically made for the Qatar event.
It is true that hosting a FIFA World Cup is not an easy task and it requires a lot of planning, bidding, financing, organizing and preparation to ensure that the event will occur according to plan. This is the reason why the selection for the nation who will host the event is a critical process.