Hundreds of football fans in Qatar struggled to retrieve their digital World Cup tickets on Tuesday, as problems with FIFA’s mobile application stoked confusion and frustration at the tournament for a second day in a row.
A line of distressed fans snaked outside the main ticketing help desk in Doha, with many reporting that their tickets had abruptly disappeared from their phones and could not be retrieved— a glitch that caused hundreds to miss the start of England’s match against Iran on Monday.
In front of a sign marked “Ticket Resolution Point” at a convention center in central Doha, fans swapped stories of ticket troubles and showed volunteers error messages on their mobile apps. One security guard, Mahammad Sajid, said it had been difficult to control some angry fans when the crowds peaked earlier in the morning.
Marciel Hernandez, a 64-year-old soccer fan from Mexico City, was waiting in line, seething in his sombrero. He said the app problems forced him to miss the first 20 minutes of the England-Iran game the day before.
“I’ve been to six World Cups and I’ve never had any kinds of problems like this,” he said, adding that two of his tickets had failed to show up on his mobile app. “These are important matches I could miss. I spend my whole life savings on the World Cup so when things don’t go well, it’s very frustrating.”
Behind him in line, Mohamed Tom, a mechanical engineer from Khartoum, Sudan, said he was “very worried” that the volunteers wouldn’t be able to resolve his problems before his next match in a few hours. “Everyone is having difficulties,” he said.
Mohamed Afran, a 32-year-old fan from Algeria, said it was his fifth time coming to the convention center to wait in line. The last four times, he said, helpless volunteers had asked him to return the next day.
“This is not the best place to be during the World Cup,” he said, dripping with sweat under the sun.