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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

No tickets, scattered seats: Fans urge action ahead of FIFA Arab Cup semi, final matches


The tickets for Qatar vs Algeria semi-finals, third place, and finals are fully sold out. 

Despite Qatar’s immense effort to organise the first-ever FIFA Arab Cup, several concerns have been raised regarding ticketing and seat allocation for some matches.

The Algerian community in Qatar have called on authorities to intervene after tickets for the Algeria vs Qatar match were completely sold out shortly after both countries qualified last week.

Fans say tickets were shown to be completely sold out online despite availability in ticketing booths and empty seatings during the game.

This has triggered calls for authorities to relocate the semi-final matches from Al Thumama Stadium to Al Bayt Stadium, which has a greater capacity and can allow more fans to cheer for their teams.

Fennec Foxes fans have also called on the Algerian Football Federation to demand 50 percent of the match tickets to Algeria to ensure enough tickets are available for the community, or provide around 5,000 tickets to be sold on the day of the match to the Algerian public.

However, speaking on Qatar TV, a member of the Arab Cup Local Organizing Committee said that the Algerian community bought a large portion of the the tickets, which were sold in accordance to a global system determined by FIFA.

Mr. Hassan Rabia Al-Kuwari, a member of the committee, said on Qatar TV that around 99 percent of the semi-finals matches are already sold out.

The official also revealed that around 60-70 percent of tickets for the final have been sold so far – even before the teams competing for the title are announced.

Meanwhile, several others have also raised concerns regarding the seating during the matches. No grandstands have been allocated for different fan-groups, which has led to scattered or mixed fans during the game.

“It is very frustrating to not be able to choose your seat or to sit and find yourself surrounded by fans from the other team. Areas should be assigned for fans so people can stick together and cheer better. Otherwise, it is just messy and very unorganised,” one fan told Doha News.

“There are a lot of people attending the semi-finals, and for matches with huge communities it is only fair to allocate a stadium with a huge capacity to cater to fans. After all, this is the best part about having such tournament here, to be able to witness it.”

FIFA’s Arab Cup

Matches are taking place at six World Cup stadiums across the country, including Al Bayt, Al Thumama, Ahmad Bin Ali, Education City stadium, 974 and Al Janoub.

Fans from around the world are now experiencing Qatar’s ultra-modern sports facilities ahead of the World Cup next year, from state-of-the-art stadiums to free and eco-friendly transportation and fan activities.

The tournament is also seen as a golden opportunity to test preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022, which will take place in a similar time slot next year.

Four matches are left in the tournament. Algeria, Qatar, Tunisia, Egypt are the only teams left standing and are still battling to be crowned winners.

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