England fans face ticket problems ahead of World Cup opener in Qatar

Football fans heading to England’s World Cup opener with Iran have had ticket problems as they attempted to enter the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

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

This left them stressed and frustrated, with a group of England fans also seen arguing with officials as they kept being told entry to the queue was closed and being repeatedly moved down to another entrance.

One England fan said they should have “just used paper tickets” and criticised the organisation of the entry.

A PA news agency reporter heading in with a ticket found their ticket app only started working about 60 seconds before they reached the front of the queue,  having failed to work in the previous couple of hours.

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

It advised them to visit the stadium’s “ticket resolution point” for support.

Free Lions, the Football Supporters’ Association team that provides travel and logistical advice to fans, said 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.”

FIFA World Cup 2022
England fans in Qatar (Peter Byrne/PA)

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 from other European nations who had signed up to the One Love campaign that the armbands would no longer be worn.

They said Fifa had been clear they 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, told the PA news agency: “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.”