Is it a Lionel Messi effect? According to Nasser Al-Khater, director general of the Qatar 2022 World Cup organising committee (20 November to 18 December), Argentina is the country whose group stage matches have been the most popular. Topping the list is Argentina’s match against Mexico, scheduled for 26 November at the Lusail stadium, followed by another of Argentina’s matches against Saudi Arabia on 22 November. FIFA announced last week that 2.45 million tickets had been sold for the 2022 World Cup after the first two sales phases. Qatar, the United States, England, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, France, Argentina, Brazil and Germany lead the way in ticket sales by country of residence. FIFA is due to announce dates for a final period of ticket sales for last-minute tickets on a first-come, first-served basis at the end of September.