In addition to Qatar, which is making its first appearance at the World Cup as host nation, other national teams will also enjoy local support. That’s because only 10.5% of the population in Qatar is also Qatari. Among the other 90 percent are quite a few citizens from other countries that qualified for the final tournament, so many of them will most likely support their home country’s teams.
But first, let’s take a look at the nationalities living together in the cosmopolitan emirate of Qatar. As I said, only about 10% of the population is of Qatari origin. The largest number of Qatari citizens are Indians, around 700,000, or almost 22% of the population.
In second place are two nations, Bangladesh and Nepal, both with 400,000 people, or 12.5% of the population each. Finally, the Qatari people come next, with some 333,000 people, followed by the Egyptians, with 300,000, or 9.35% of the population. Sadly, Salah and Co missed out on a place in the finals after losing the play-off to Senegal on penalties. “The ‘Pharaohs’ would have been the best-supported national team in Qatar, battling it out with the host nation.
Other nationalities were followed by Filipinos, Pakistanis, Sinhalese (Sri Lankans), Sudanese, Syrians, and Lebanese. So the top 12 nationalities in terms of numbers in Qatar have only one qualified ‘representative’ at the World Cup, the host country Qatar itself.
However, things change in 13th place, as there are 40,000 US citizens or 1.25% of the total population. The USA qualifies for the World Cup and is in Group B alongside England, Iran, and Wales.
Incidentally, of the nationalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants in Qatar, Group B has the most. Great Britain has 22,000 citizens in Qatar, i.e. 0.7% of the emirate’s population, Iran has 30,000, i.e. 1%, and the USA, as I said, 40,000, i.e. 1.25%.
Of the countries that have more than 10,000 citizens in Qatar, only Tunisia qualifies for the World Cup, in addition to those already mentioned. The Maghrebian team is in Group D, alongside France, Denmark, and Australia. There are 26,000 Tunisians in Qatar or 0.8% of the population.
So all these national teams have a large potential fan base already in Qatar, in addition to those who are likely to make the trip to the Persian Gulf emirate specifically for the World Cup.
Finally, other countries with World Cup-qualified national teams and significant communities in Qatar are:
– Canada – 9,200 inhabitants (0.3% of Qatar’s population) – Group F
– Saudi Arabia – 8,245 inhabitants (0.25%) – Group C
– Ghana – 8,000 inhabitants (0.25%) – Group H
– France – 5,500 inhabitants (0.17%) – Group D
– Spain – 4,000 inhabitants (0.12%) – Group E
– Australia – 3,100 inhabitants (0.10%) – Group D
Others, such as Serbia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, the Netherlands, Japan, Denmark, Belgium, Poland, Mexico, Croatia, Argentina, Switzerland, Senegal, Ecuador, or Uruguay have less than 2,000 citizens each, i.e. insignificant proportions of Qatar’s total population.