Fans optimistic as FIFA set to reopen World Cup ticket sales

DOHA: Ticket sales for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be played in Qatar from November 20 to December 18 will reopen on September 27 at 11:00 a.m. CEST or 12:00 p.m. to noon Doha time (2:30 p.m. IST), the official announced on Friday. world governing body for sport.
Several fans living in Qatar wishing to buy more tickets were delighted by the announcement. Doha resident Sharmili Datta Gupta used to log into her FIFA online account every other day to check for updates.

“I bought the tickets in the first phase, but I was unlucky in the second. I think all the tickets for the quarters, semi-finals and final were sold out. Which probably remains, it’s the high-priced tickets for the group stage matches,” said Gupta who has tickets for his family of three for the semi-final to be played at Lusail Stadium on December 13.

“Category 4 tickets cost me QR 500 each. I’ll see if I can get my hands on more tickets if they’re affordable,” said the Indian senior secondary teacher who works at an American school in Doha.

The final online ticket sale at FIFA.com/tickets will run until the end of the tournament on 18 December.

Pakistani citizen Amna Pervaiz Rao is ready to jump into the online fray once bookings open at midday Doha time on September 27. “I wish I could buy the tickets for QR 35,” said Rao, an editor at Qatar University.

According to the organisers, there has been a sustained demand for tickets for the first FIFA World Cup to be played in the Middle East. Qatar borders the tourist magnet of Dubai, which is expected to benefit from the tournament which is expected to see the arrival of more than a million fans from around the world.

Qatar’s Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) neighbors like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman have increased the number of flights to Doha, the hub of Qatar Airways. The Qatari carrier has announced an intensification of operations during the tournament by scheduling shuttle flights to and from Dubai.

During the latest sales phase from July 5 to August 16, a total of 520,532 tickets were sold, FIFA said, bringing the total number of tickets purchased to 2.45 million.

Both international and local ticket holders must apply for a Hayya Card – a tournament ID available in digital and physical form – in order to gain access to stadiums and entry into Qatar. The card will act as a visa for international fans and will allow them to enter Qatar multiple times and travel visa-free to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
A Hayya card will also allow spectators access to free public transport on match days, as well as several other benefits such as entry to fan zones.

Qatar, where authorities are busy with preparations for the big event, has suspended entry for visitors (without match tickets or Hayya cards) from November 1 to December 22.

Under the previously stated 1+3 policy, a Hayya cardholder can accommodate up to three non-ticket holders in the country by paying a fee of QR 500 per person.

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