Ticket issues ahead of England-Iran | ‘Many England fans miss KO’


England’s World Cup opener against Iran was marred by ticket issues ahead of the game, leading to a number of supporters missing the kick-off.

The match began as scheduled in Doha but there were several reports of fans experiencing difficulties trying to get into the Khalifa International Stadium on time.

With the 4pm local time kick-off approaching (1pm GMT), some supporters were frantically refreshing the official ticketing mobile app on their phones in a bid to have their QR code load.

FIFA acknowledged some fans were experiencing issues accessing their tickets and said it was working on solving the issue.

A statement shortly before kick-off read: “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 their email accounts they used to register with the ticketing app for further instructions.

“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.”

Free Lions, the Football Supporters’ Association team that provides travel and logistical advice to fans, also released a statement on social media.

They wrote on Twitter: “We’re aware of issues with some e-tickets at the stadium with FIFA’s ticketing app. The FA is working hard to find a resolution for England fans.

“If you have issues seeing your ticket on the app, join the ticketing resolution queue at the stadium, but keep checking the app.”

‘Queues weren’t moving’

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Rob Dorsett and Kaveh Solhekol analyse why England, Wales and other European nations have decided not to wear the OneLove armband at the World Cup in Qatar

Sky Sports News senior reporter Rob Dorsett writing minutes before kick off in Doha:

“We have just got through long queues of England and Iranian fans trying to get into the Khalifa International Stadium.

“For fairly lengthy periods, the queues weren’t moving at all as the officials and stewards struggled with the automated turnstiles.

“In the end, they let people through with visual checks of tickets, rather than the digital checks on the turnstiles.

“Many England fans will still be outside trying to get in, and will miss kick-off.”

England ‘bottled it’ over OneLove armband

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Carl Fearn, the co-chair of Arsenal’s Gay Gooners, has described FIFA’s stance on the OneLove armband as another ‘own-goal’ and says they are angry with the call to not wear it at the World Cup

The ticketing issues came after England were accused of having “bottled it” by not wearing an anti-discrimination armband in their Group B opener.

The Three Lions and Wales announced, via a joint statement along with other European nations who had signed up to the OneLove campaign, that the armbands would no longer be worn.

They said FIFA had been clear it would impose “sporting sanctions” if the captains of the teams wore the armband on the field of play, adding they would not risk yellow cards or more.

England fan Steve Wright, 43, from Derby, said: “I disagree with that. They’re just bowing to the oppression of the Qatari government.”

Shaun Rowland, 56, from Hertfordshire, also speaking outside the Khalifa International Stadium ahead of England’s game with Iran, said: “They’ve bottled it, haven’t they?

“Would it have made a massive difference? I don’t know, I think it’s a shame.”

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