DOHA, Qatar – Hundreds of soccer fans in Qatar struggled to get their digital World Cup tickets back on Tuesday, as problems with FIFA’s mobile app disrupted the tournament for the second day in a row. Disappointment ensued.
A line of distraught fans poured out of the main ticketing help desk in Doha, with many reporting that their tickets had accidentally disappeared from their phones and could not be recovered – a problem that continued on Monday. The start of England’s match against Iran today led to the loss of hundreds of lives.
In front of a sign marked “Ticket Resolution Point” at the convention center in central Doha, fans swapped stories of ticket problems and showed volunteers error messages on their mobile apps. Mohammad Sajid, a security guard, said it was difficult to control some angry fans when the crowd swelled early in the morning.
Marcel Hernandez, a 64-year-old soccer fan from Mexico City, waited in line, crying into his sombrero. He said app problems forced him to miss the first 20 minutes of the England-Iran match the day before.
“I’ve been to six World Cups and I’ve never seen problems like this,” he said. He added that his two tickets were not displayed on his mobile app. “These are important games that I can miss. I spend all my life savings on the World Cup so when things don’t go well it’s very disappointing.
Behind him, Mohamed Tam, a mechanical engineer from Khartoum, Sudan, said he was “very worried” that volunteers would not fix his problems in the hours before his next race. “Everybody has problems,” he said.
Mohamed Ifran, a 32-year-old fan from Algeria, said it was his fifth time at the convention center to wait in line. He said that the last four times the poor volunteers asked him to come back the next day.
“It’s not the best place to be during the World Cup,” he said.