Fans with virtual tickets for some of Qatar’s first World Cup soccer games on Monday were left wondering if they’d be able to enter the stadium after the official FIFA ticketing app crashed shortly before kick-off.
U.S. fans with tickets for the Wales game, and England fans planning to see the clash with Iran, were among “thousands” of ticket-holders unable to access the FIFA app that held their virtual tickets, ESPN reported on Monday.
According to a fan group linked to the U.S. team, tickets “disappeared” from accounts and prevented fans from transferring tickets to other individuals to attend the game together.
With no way to enter the stadium, those experiencing issues with the app were told to make their way to the Doha Exhibition & Convention Center for assistance. Around 500 concerned fans went along in a bid to sort out the problem, ESPN reported.
The news outlet added that “hundreds” of affected England fans were still making their way to the stadium for the Iran game when the players walked onto the field at the Khalifa International Stadium for the 4 p.m. kick-off on Monday.
It’s not clear how many ticketed fans, if any, failed to enter the stadiums for the England and U.S. games.
Responding to the debacle, FIFA said in a statement: “Some spectators are currently experiencing an issue with accessing their tickets via the FIFA ticketing app. FIFA is working on solving the issue. In the meantime, fans who are not able to access their mobile tickets should check the email accounts they used to register with the ticketing app for further instructions.”
The world football body continued: “In case fans cannot access their email accounts, the stadium’s Ticket Resolution Point will be able to support. We thank fans for their understanding as we work to fix the issue as soon as possible.”
Already mired in controversy over migrant worker deaths and gay rights in the oil-rich nation, Qatar will want to ensure the ticketing issues are ironed out early on to prevent even more negative publicity from hitting the global sports event.
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