Qatar Airways has been extended as the airline sponsor for the FIFA Men’s World Cup in North America in 2026, as well as the event in Europe, Africa, and South America in 2030.
Initially, the state-owned airline had a two-tournament contract for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The World Cup airline spot should become available again in 2034, when Saudi Arabia is slated to host the event. The Saudis intend to establish a second national airline, Riyadh Air.
The new Qatar Airways arrangement was not announced, although it is estimated to be valued hundreds of millions of dollars. The trophy and medal presentation helpers are dressed in the airline’s uniform at World Cup finals.
“Today I am very proud to announce the renewal of our partnership between Qatar Airways and FIFA. It is a great partnership that has brought a lot of success to FIFA, and of course as well to Qatar Airways,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said during the ceremony.
“We are excited to extend our partnership with FIFA as the Global Airline Partner. As an airline, we are committed to connecting the world, and this partnership allows us to reach millions of football fans. Football has the power to unite people across cultures and continents, and we are proud to continue to be part of this incredible journey,” said Group Chief Executive Officer Badr Mohammed Al-Meer.
In the 2019-2022 commercial cycle, the airline was one of seven top-tier men’s World Cup sponsors, earning over $2.7 billion in total marketing rights sales, according to FIFA. It comprises selected FIFA youth competitions as well as the 2027 Women’s World Cup, the host of which will be announced in May.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first to include 48 teams instead of 32, 104 games instead of 64, with players, supporters, and officials spread over 16 locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The 2030 World Cup will feature greater long-distance travel than initially anticipated, with games taking place in six nations across three continents.
FIFA stated last month that it is only considering one offer — the long-favoured Spain-Portugal co-hosting plan, which was expanded this year to include Morocco and now includes South American neighbours Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay hosting one game each as part of a centennial celebration. Uruguay hosted the first World Cup in 1930.
Through a dedicated platform of Qatar Airways, football fans will be excited to hear the airline will in the near future have access to exclusive travel packages such including match tickets, flights and accommodation for selected FIFA tournaments.