Hamad Abdulaziz, a Qatari football fanatic, has officially been recognised as a world record holder having attended 44 out of the 64 matches during Qatar 2022.
Detailed planning helped the 39-year-old attend more matches than anyone else at a single FIFA World Cup™ tournament – “a record unlikely to be broken in the future”, according to FIFA.
Qatar hosted the most compact edition of the FIFA World Cup™ in history, with all eight stadiums located within an hour of downtown Doha. Qatar’s World Cup held four matches a day in the early stages of the tournament, with three hours between each kick-off. The longest distance between stadiums was 75km – from Al Janoub in Al Wakrah to Al Bayt in Al Khor.
Hamad had some competition when it came to this particular world record as many fans realised the World Cup in Qatar might be their best chance to attend a maximum number of matches. Other tournaments span different cities, regions, or as is the case with the upcoming Americas World Cup, across three different countries.
“Growing up, I dreamt of playing in the World Cup – and as the kick-off approached, I found a way of being part of the tournament’s success while showing how well everything was organised and how easy it was to get from one stadium to another,” said Hamad.
Hamad had contacted Guinness World Records ahead of the tournament to ensure he would meet their criteria. He needed two witnesses to certify he attended the entirety of every match, with the forms signed ahead of kick-off and at the final whistle.
“After examining the schedule, I saw I could attend three matches a day. There were a lot of close calls – but with the help of my brother, who drove me between matches, I was able to break the record, even with just an hour between the end of one match and the start of another,” said Hamad.
“I have been so fortunate to be a part of this tournament’s success,” said Hamad. “From helping Generation Amazing achieve 1 million beneficiaries to breaking the world record for attending matches, I am so proud to be part of Qatar’s success. Qatar will have its name in the record books for a long time thanks to this achievement.”