Only half of Switzerland's allocated tickets for the World Cup have been sold
According to a report by SonntagsBlick, the Swiss Football Association (ASF) has only sold half of the tickets it was given by FIFA for the World Cup in Qatar this November. A number of Swiss newspapers have blamed the high cost of getting to the tournament, and the host country’s treatment of workers.
Switzerland to compete in fifth World Cup in a row
It’s only five weeks until the World Cup in Qatar gets underway, and 2022 marks the fifth time in a row that Switzerland has qualified, this time beating Italy to secure an automatic qualification spot.
However, according to the ASF, only around 1.500 tickets have been sold for Switzerland’s first clashes with Serbia and Cameroon, and another 2.500 have been sold for Nati’s match against the giants of Brazil. This accounts for only half the quota of tickets that the association was given for the tournament.
ASF: Qatar World Cup less popular than Russia and Brazil
Speaking to SonntagsBlick, an ASF spokesperson conceded that there is less interest in the World Cup in Qatar than there was in Russia, Brazil and South Africa. They hoped Swiss citizens who live in the Gulf region, and those that acquire tickets through other outlets on the internet, would make up the numbers in the stands.
The lack of ticket sales has been blamed on a number of factors. First, flying out of Swiss airports and staying in Qatar - or flying to another country in the region and “commuting” to the tournament - is prohibitively expensive. Economy class tickets from Geneva to Doha can cost up to 1.000 francs per person, not to mention the cost of hotels, food, transport and other necessities.
This was confirmed in an interview with a top fan. Speaking to 20 minuten, the man, called Trompeten-Sigi, said he had gone to every football tournament where Switzerland was playing for the last 50 years. Unfortunately, he announced that he would be going into “retirement” as the cost of the trip was “exorbitant” and he was worried about security.
20 minuten: People in Switzerland put off by Qatar human rights record
Finally, according to 20 minuten, many have been put off by the human rights record of Qatar itself. A piece by Amnesty International noted that “despite government reforms, migrant workers continued to face labour abuses and struggled to change jobs freely. Curtailment of freedom of expression increased in the run-up to FIFA World Cup 2022. Women and LGBTI people continued to face discrimination in law and practice.”
Despite this record, FIFA, based in Zurich, told 20 minuten that ticket sales worldwide have been positive. According to the federation, 2,88 of the 3,1 million tickets available for the tournament have already been sold or are ready to be issued.