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Thursday, February 22, 2024
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World Cup Fans Face Ticket Turmoil, Riot Police

  • The FIFA app crashed on Monday, one day after the World Cup began.
  • Some tickets "disappeared" from the app.
Fans wearing Thobes, the traditional dress of the Arabian Gulf region, while watching a World Cup match
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

FIFA and Qatar added more World Cup complaints to their growing list of criticisms over the first two days of the tournament. 

FIFA’s official app crashed on Monday — one day after the World Cup began — leaving thousands of fans unable to access their tickets. According to ESPN, some tickets “disappeared” from the app, others couldn’t be transferred to other attendees, and some users couldn’t log in to the app at all. 

Stranded fans were instructed to go to the Doha Exhibition & Convention Center. At one point, there were reportedly 500 people seen outside the building. 

  • England’s 6-2 victory over Iran began at 4 p.m. local time, while hundreds of attendees were reportedly still working to gain access.
  • Ahead of Monday’s 1-1 tie between the U.S. and Wales at 10 p.m.local time, some supporters were told to get a printed ticket from the Convention Center.

At Ecuador’s 2-0 victory against Qatar on Sunday – the first time a host nation lost the opening game – attendance was scarce, and fans who were there chanted, “We want beer!” Budweiser has a $75 million deal with FIFA, who revealed last week no beer would be available at the stadiums.

Fan Zone Issues

On Sunday, tens of thousands of fans pushed and shoved as they tried to enter a fan zone in central Doha, where they were met with riot police armed with batons and shields. 

“It’s very risky,” Hatem El-Berarri, an Iraqi working in neighboring Dubai, told the Associated Press. “People they [sic] could die.”

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