Coca-Cola and, sponsor of Qatar World Cup 2022, have teamed up to launch an NFT collection inspired by the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. The collection, created in collaboration with digital artist GMUNK, is based on “heat maps” that visually represent the movements and highlights of the tournament’s players. GMUNK has created 10,000 NFTs based on these heat maps, which will be available to fans on the NFT platform from May 1 to July 31, 2022.

To access the NFT collection, fans will need to create an account on the NFT platform and visit Coca-Cola’s fan zone page to mint a token. The Coca-Cola fan zone is a digital hub for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup that offers fans the opportunity to experience thrills, excitement, games, and moments to remember during the tournament.

 In addition to the NFT collection, the fan zone includes leaderboards, pledges, and predictions, allowing fans to compete with each other and interact with the tournament in real-time.

As per some news websites the registration sites for the NFTs are offered on either Coca-cola Middle East or the fan zone links officially provided for residents living in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates.

Just after the announcement’s CRO token (CRO) gained value this week. CRO climbed as much as 10% after the press release hit, and though it slipped to a 8.5% advance at press time CRO remains one of the top performing digital assets on Monday 5th of December. Despite this, CRO token remains lower by about 50% over the past month in the FTX-related crumbling in the cryptocurrency markets. CRO is down nearly 90% year over year.

This is the first World Cup that has not only features Blockchain and crypto sponsors but tokens and NFTs, growing the interest in both in the MENA region.

Qatar’s World Cup 2022 is a first in many ways. It is not only the first to be held in an Arab country but also the first to have crypto and blockchain sponsors, namely Algorand and, and the first to introduce fan tokens, NFTs, and metaverse experiences. Consequently, these actions have spurred the market capitalization of fan tokens to $300 million at the onset of the World Cup according to CoinGecko.

Fan tokens for FIFA

World Cup 2022 NFT Collection was launched with Algorand blockchain technology. FIFA fans now have the opportunity to attend the tournaments and enjoy a VIP experience thanks to the official digital collectibles. In this sense, they are one of the first utility NFTs in the World Cup space. Costing as low as $4.99, 216,862 packs had been claimed by Nov. 23 from the FIFA+ Collect website out of a collection of 532,980 packs, which include 1,593,480 NFTs. Users can purchase packs using credit cards or USDC-A on the Algorand network.

Moreover, the FIFA World Cup 2022 collaborated with Matchday, a company that developed a social prediction game based on football cards, and Upland, a company that built a virtual replica of the Lusail Stadium in Qatar for fans to visit the metaverse using collectible NFTs.

Will this impact the growth of fan tokens in the region?Nabil Al Sayed, the founder of the MENA-based Nifty NFT marketplace, believes that FIFA’s approach to Web3 is reassuring.

“Football has a great fan base, and the World Cup has an even bigger one,” he explains. “This adoption of Web3 by FIFA helps engage a wider base of fans in this new space, introduces a new world to fans also gives a nudge to the ones on the fence and also proves that Web3 is the future and it is here to stay.”

Al Sayed adds that these partnerships “are just the beginning for what is yet to come.”

However, the founder of UAE Web3 social engagement platform Bonuz, Matthias Mende, says the current efforts are not enough, and that FIFA faces challenges in making their NFTs simple and friendly to purchase as well as relieving fans of gas fees.

He states, “The greatest outcome to incentivize fans to purchase FIFA NFTs is their affordable prices. Nevertheless, acquiring the FIFA NFTs should be done with gasless payments, which are currently not available on Algorand.”

FIFA is not the only entity offering fan tokens and NFTs. Binance, for example, is offering $1 million in rewards in its Web3 Blockchain-enabled football challenge. UAE-based KoinBasket, a crypto investment firm, put up 100 million Bitcoin Satoshis for grabs, and Bybit crypto exchange, which had applied for a license in Dubai through VARA, is offering 500,000 in USDT as a prize pool in celebration of the World Cup.

Are these successful campaigns to gauge fan interest?Al Sayed believes that the secret behind successful fan NFTs and tokens is the utilities that these assets hold. He explains that NFTs allow fans to “participate in voting polls for the team, go on a hunt for digital collectibles, purchase gated NFTs, and enjoy gamification features tied with fan rewards or virtual experiences.”

As for Mende, NFTs that provide “Proof of Attendance” coupled with a quest map requesting users to carry out tasks might be effective to increase and measure social engagement.

“Using this strategy, companies can rate which community members add value and which are merely attendees,” Mende expounds. “Companies can filter benefits based on these data points and determine who to grant benefits to.”

Future of sport NFTs and fan tokens in MENA

Al Sayed reiterates, “This is the first step to a whole new way of consuming sports. We are just scratching the surface. This year it started with fan tokens, and by 2026 we will be seeing more immersive experiences and a wider range of products beyond tokens and games.”

Blockchain will be the norm for the upcoming World Cup, Mende predicts. According to him, the general public will see the emergence of “Tracking NFTs.” Since these NFTs will track users’ activity in a similar way that cookies do, they will provide a high level of transparency for understanding real user behavior. “Users will be happy to exchange this data for NFTs, digital rewards, and virtual benefits,” he claims.

Visa the Official Payment Technology Partner of FIFA unveiled Visa Masters of Movement, a first-of its-kind hybrid experience featuring a pre-event NFT auction and immersive activation for fans at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

The Visa Masters of Movement auction features digital art inspired by iconic goals from five legendary footballers that have been minted into unique NFTs, available on

Later this month, the experience will come to life on an interactive pitch at the FIFA Fan Festival™ in Doha, Qatar and allow fans to create digital art inspired by their own signature movements. 

Eligible fans will have the option to mint this digital art into their own NFT in partnership with, the official cryptocurrency trading platform sponsor of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

Visa states, “As FIFA World Cup 2022™ approaches, we want to celebrate football, art and technology through the lens of what makes the FIFA World Cup™ so special – wildly impassioned fans, legendary athletes and for a few short weeks, the ability to bring the world together in a uniquely connected way”

Starting Wednesday 1st of November (12:00pm GMT) through November 8 (9:00pm GMT), football fans can bid on the Visa Masters of Movement NFTs on The auction brings together five unique works of art inspired by iconic FIFA World Cup™ and FIFA Women’s World Cup™ goals from legendary footballers: Jared Borgetti, Tim Cahill, Carli Lloyd, Michael Owen and Maxi Rodriguez minted into NFTs. The digital artwork was designed using an algorithm by award-winning XK Studios which transformed the iconic movements into dynamic works of art.

 A unique collector’s item, fans with the highest bid for each NFT at the close of the auction will receive the NFT in their wallet along with a high-quality printable art file and signed memorabilia from the legendary player featured in the NFT.

Visa will grant all auction proceeds to Street Child United, a charitable organization incorporated and operating in the United Kingdom, whose mission is to tackle the widespread stigma that street-connected children face globally.

“The FIFA World Cup™ is one of the most anticipated sporting events in the world, and we are incredibly excited to give fans a new way to engage with this epic event,” said Steven Kalifowitz, Chief Marketing Officer at “We are thrilled to partner with Visa in bringing Visa Masters of Movement to life and offering fans the opportunity to create and collect the most unique collectibles at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ that will live forever on the blockchain.”

This week Qatar made headlines in the Blockchain, crypto, NFT and metaverse scene on several fronts. While the CEO of Qatar  Sovereign Wealth Fund praised Blockchain but shunned crypto, Qatar’s Central Bank Governor stated that crypto assets are a technology innovation that will take us to a new era of fast accessible payments and financial services. Topping all this was Qatar Airways increased foray into the realm of the metaverse, and NFTs.

It seems that while the government of Qatar has yet to make up its mind on whether it wants to enter the era of cryptocurrencies, or whether they agree that crypto will have to be dealt with at one point or another, they are taking steps towards integrating elements of blockchain and CBDC into their strategies.During the Qatar Economic Forum Qatar Central Bank Governor Bandar Bin Mohammed Bin Saoud Al Thani admitted that Qatar is in the foundation stage of investigating a central bank Digital Currency (CBDC). As he noted, “Many central banks are now considering issuing CBDC, and we are not an exception to that. We are evaluating the pros and cons of issuing the CBDC and to find the proper and the right technology and the platform to issue.”He then noted, “Crypto assets are a technology innovation, and in my view it might take us to a new era of fast accessible payment and financial services.  “Those crypto assets which are not underlying by assets or monetary authority might be less credible.”

On the other hand Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund CEO Mansoor Al Mahmoud revealed that the wealth fund has no interest in investing in Bitcoin, but is still very much interested in exploring blockchain.

He was noted as saying, “Our team in the technology space is exploring opportunities in the blockchain,” Al Mahmoud said in an interview. He adds “This is the space that we’re interested in, not the currency itself.”

In the midst of these discussions Qatar Airways expressed its intention to include the purchase of tickets for physical flights through the QVerse metaverse, and the incorporation of NFTs. 

All this comes while the FIFA World Cup 2022 has partnered with the likes of and Algorand Blockchain, and crypto exchange CoinMENA announces it is servicing clients in Qatar through its license in Bahrain. 

Qatar at one point will have to come to grips with the fact that with blockchain the metaverse and digitization comes digital assets, whether they are called cryptocurrencies, crypto assets, virtual assets, tokens or NFTs.

For example if Qatar were to utilize blockchain in the energy sector, and work with companies such as PermianChain which is tokenizing natural resources such as flared gas, and if they wanted to utilize PermianChain’s energy token marketplace, they would at some point need to use the DEC Token to optimize their experience. Tokens and Blockchain go hand in hand despite attempts to de-couple them.

One cannot implement blockchain, invest in blockchain nor create a CBDC to be held in digital wallets, without addressing the elephant in the room which is crypto and or digital asset. So instead of being the black sheep of the GCC Crypto hype, wouldn’t it be better if Qatar was the winning stallion.