Grant Thornton Study Outlines Commercial & Football Development Opportunities from a FIFA World Cup in the Middle East

By Grant Thornton, PRNE
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Potential $14 billion Growth in Middle East Football by 2022

DOHA, Qatar, November 24, 2010 - Research carried out by Grant Thornton, the respected global advisory
services firm, has outlined the scale of potential commercial and football
development opportunities to FIFA and the global football family if Qatar is
awarded the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The research, commissioned by Qatar 2022, confirms that football is the
number one sport in the Middle East, that the region has massive untapped
football development potential, and that Qatar will deliver a commercially
successful FIFA World Cup and act as the catalyst to help drive the growth of
football across the Middle East.

    Key findings of the Grant Thornton report include:
    - The award of the FIFA World Cup to Qatar in 2010 would grow
      the value of football in the region by $14 billion by 2022 [52%] and by
      a further $10 billion [46%] by 2042
    - Given the central location of Qatar, 82% of the world's time
      zones would receive Qatar 2022 games live in prime time, with a
      potential match day peak audience of 3.2 billion viewers; this has the
      potential to create an enhanced rights value for FIFA
    - A FIFA World Cup in Qatar will help increase football match
      attendances across the region in 2022 by 13.4% - an additional 4.2
      million spectators [this excludes World Cup attendance]
    - Football pay TV broadcast rights in the region are expected to
      rise by 30% to $550 million by 2022 if the FIFA World Cup is held in
      the Middle East
    - Female football participation in the Middle East has grown from
      less than 0.2% in 2000 to 3.3% in 2006 (FIFA Big Count), still short of
      the 10% level in mature football markets, indicating massive growth
      potential which the World Cup in the region could unlock
    - If the region reaches penetration levels similar to more mature
      markets, 140 million additional football players across all levels
      could occur Half of all visitors to a FIFA World Cup in Qatar from the
      Middle East are expected to be women and 97% of them are expected to
      attend matches
    - Middle East proximity to European and Asian markets is likely to
      enhance the commercial value of hospitality rights compared to South
      Africa 2010
    - Given Qatar's proximity to India, a FIFA World Cup in Qatar would
      help drive interest in football across an Indian population of over 1.1

Hassan Al Thawadi, CEO of Qatar 2022 said: "Grant Thornton's report helps
to quantify the significant commercial and football development opportunities
for FIFA and football if the Middle East has the historic opportunity to host
the FIFA World Cup in 2022. We can see many millions of new fans
participating, watching and consuming football.

"We know the passion for football in the Middle East. The missing piece
of the jigsaw is having the FIFA World Cup as the catalyst to unlock a whole
new generation of fans and players. This report adds to our belief that a
FIFA World Cup in the Middle East in 2022 would not only make history but
also open up a significant and exciting new football frontier for FIFA and
its partners."

Grant Salter, Director from Grant Thornton said: "The passion for
football in the Middle East and the enthusiastic support for Qatar's Bid to
host the FIFA World Cup in the region for the first time is evident wherever
one travels in the Middle East. We are excited to be part of a process of
what we hope will be part of football and Middle East history."

Notes to Editors

The Grant Thornton study also highlight a number of indicators confirming
that football is by far the number one sport in the Middle East. For example:

    - Middle East TV audiences for the FIFA World Cup have grown
      almost 350% since 1986
    - Football is the top team/competitive sport in terms of
      participation in the region with 9% playing either regularly or
    - In the most active 15-24 age group, 48% play football regularly
      or occasionally
    - More than 5 times more people paid to attend football matches in
      the region than any other sport
    - The total number of football players in the region as per FIFA's
      Big Count 2006 was 37.1 million, compared to 7.3 million in 2000
    - The number of youth players in the region grew by 16% from 2000
      to 2006.

Christian Fianco, Media Manager of Qatar 2022 BID Committee, +974-55669340, cfianco at; or Kelly Keane, +1-410-321-0137, kelly.keane at

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