Logistics of the Football World Cup

Posted 14th September, 2022

This summer saw the US host an epic edition of the Women’s European Football Championships here in the UK, with England’s Lionesses bringing the cup home in incredible fashion. Now, as we move into autumn, all eyes will soon be on the FIFA Football World Cup, which travels to Qatar for this year’s edition which kicks off in November. We take a look at the logistics involved.

People and Personnel

Before we consider the material logistics, let’s look at some of the human logistics involved in delivering a football world cup. Cumulative viewership of all matches of the 2006 World Cup was estimated to be 26.29 billion, with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the final match – a ninth of the entire population of the planet. A vast number of people are required to make this possible.

The 32 teams who take to the stadia represent just a small fraction of those involved in the games. When you factor in non-playing team members, match support staff, stadium staff and stewards, media personnel, emergency services, caterers and suppliers and other logistic staff you can only begin to imagine the numbers. And that’s before you even think about attending fans…

Media Production

FIFA expects world class TV production of the matches, with centralised coverage supplied to the world’s media. The last edition saw the use of 34 cameras per stadium to provide HD and UHD coverage of each match. A total of 370 film cameras were used, along with 1,000 monitors. The set up includes a TOC (Technical Operation Center) at every venue – a temporary building where production equipment is set up. Each TOC in the last world cup used 53,000 pieces of cable! It took a total of 36 lorries to carry all of the technical equipment required to broadcast the 2018 World Cup.

Football Facts

Of course, the FIFA World Cup, like Wimbledon, couldn’t take place without a suitable supply of balls – 3,240 to be precise! There is a complete supply chain for these match balls, which are manufactured in Pakistan to FIFA’s extremely precise specifications.

The Adidas 2022 World Cup ball is called “Al Rihla” (Adidas 2022 World Cup Al Rihla Official Match Ball). Rihla is the Arabic word for a journey or the travelogue that documents it. Adidas’ 2022 World Cup ball has an all-new panel shape design, inspired by traditional dhow boats and specifically the characteristic triangular sails used on them. The ball is made from a total of 20 panels.

A new adidas Suspension System in the centre of this year’s ball hosts and stabilises a 500Hz inertial measurement unit (IMU) motion sensor, which provides unprecedented insight into every element of the movement of the ball to help the VAR referees. The sensor is powered by a rechargeable battery, which can be charged by induction.

As well as the actual match balls, replica balls are also available for purchase worldwide – a whole other logistics mission in its own right!

Live attendance

Total match attendance for the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil was 3,429,873, with an average of 53,592 per match. This attendance generated over 3.1 million food and beverage transactions within stadiums during the course of the Cup. And that’s before we even consider merchandise and sanitation supplies.

Add to this the logistics of food and beverage worldwide from those watching in bars, pubs and restaurants and the numbers become utterly impossible to comprehend.

Here at Station Couriers, we can’t guarantee your team will win the World Cup, but we can make sure your goods get to where they need to be, when they need to be there. To find out more about how we can support your business with a range of local, national and international shipping services, call today on 01686 621190.



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