New Delhi: Indian team has never played at a football World Cup but thousands are expected to experience it in Qatar. Of the 1.8 million Qatar World Cup 2022 tickets sold across the first two phases, more than 23,500 were bought by fans in India. After the first phase of ticketing, India was ranked seventh in ticket sales.
In Russia 2018, almost 18,000 fans from India were in attendance. Across all non-competing countries, India had the third highest number of fans in Russia, behind only the United States and China.
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Air India has also announced the addition of 20 new weekly flights to Qatar from major Indian cities. The increased capacity will cater to the anticipated surge in demand surrounding the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, scheduled for November and December 2022.
During this time, the flights, which will begin on October 30, will connect Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai with Qatar’s capital, Doha. There will be thirteen flights per week from Mumbai, four from Hyderabad, and three from Chennai. These flights will supplement the existing daily flights from Delhi to Doha.
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With such enthusiasm in fans, it’s strange how national men’s team captain Sunil Chhetri had to post a video through the Indian Football Team Twitter handle urging fans to attend the team’s Asian Cup qualifiers in Kolkata in June this year. Also, In May this year, it was reported that the funding of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had been slashed by 85 percent. Last month, FIFA temporarily banned India over third-party interference.