There could be a billion dollars at stake when the whistle blows at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

If Peru, who face the All Whites this weekend in the first leg of the Intercontinental playoffs, qualify for the 2018 World Cup it could be worth more than US$1 billion ($1.45 billion) to the Andean country.

That's according to a report by one of Peru's leading current affairs programs, Reporte Semanal (Weekly Report), which put the value of qualifying for next year's Fifa showpiece at US$1.3 billion ($1.88 million) to the Peruvian economy.

Economist Jorge Carrillo, told the programme that the effect of Peru's first World Cup qualification in more than 35 years would be dramatic for the country.


Aside from the gargantuan television rights deals and sponsorship and marketing packages put together by large corporations across the country, Peru's success would have a direct and immediate impetus on the local economy.

Carrillo forecasts that sales will increase across all kinds of categories, which will lead to increased production. That will stimulate employment, as companies will require more workers to cope with the demand.

That's not forgetting the impact on bars, restaurants and clubs, which could expect an average increase in revenue of around 10 per cent.

Carrillo estimates that the overall effect could provide a boost of at least 0.5 per cent to the Peru's Gross Domestic Product, which last year was measured at US$192 billion ($277 billion).

Those kind of figures help to underline what is at stake over the next nine days. In case anyone didn't realise already, this is way more than a couple of football matches.

It was a similar situation in 2013 in the playoffs against Mexico, with the price of Mexico not progressing to the 2014 World Cup estimated to be as high as US$1 billion.

Adidas was set to one of the most affected. The German sportswear company stood to lose an estimated US$300 million ($434 million) if the Mexican team didn't progress to the tournament in Brazil. One local department store has pre-ordered 500,000 World Cup jerseys, with a buy-back clause if the team did not progress.

The Mexican football federation had also inked contracts worth up to US$250m ($361m), all tied to progression to Brazil. Then there was the massive television deals, sold across Mexico and the United States and worth hundreds of millions.

It was also suggested that all 18 teams in the top professional league would suffer losses as interest dipped, while another estimate said Mexico's 50 million football fans would spend US$20 ($24) less if the team didn't go to Brazil.

Such figures give an understanding of the vast impact of the sport in such football-mad countries. Peru is not as big as Mexico, but it remains a large economy, with a population of more than 32 million people. It also has a huge footballing infrastructure, with 31 professional teams in the top two divisions.

Aside from the monetary injection into the economy, qualification is also worth $US10 million ($12 million) to the competing teams. That's the payout from Fifa for reaching their biggest event.