Football fans in disbelief as World Cup hit by 'embarrassing' scenes

·5-min read
Harry Kane (pictured left) looks on and (pictured right) Netherlands players line-up at the World Cup.
Stadiums for the England game against Iran and the Netherlands blockbuster against Senegal both had issues with crowd capacity at the FIFA World Cup. (Getty Images)

The FIFA World Cup continues to be marred with 'embarrassing' scenes as England fans were unable to enter the stadium for their opener against Iran, while other games featured empty seats across Qatar. On the second day in Qatar, England kicked off their group stage opener against Iran with thousands of fans waiting outside due to a ticket disaster.

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England defeated Iran 6-2 at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, but many on social media pointed out that huge queues formed outside with Three Lions fans desperate to get inside. A BBC correspondent reported that some fans had waited two hours in the line to enter the stadium.

FIFA released a statement following the debacle to clarify the situation with the world watching.

“Some spectators are currently experiencing an issue with accessing their tickets via the FIFA ticketing app. FIFA is working on solving the issue," the statement read. “In the meantime, fans who are not able to access their mobile tickets should check the email accounts they used to register with the ticketing app for further instructions.

"In case fans cannot access their email accounts, the stadium's Ticket Resolution Point will be able to support. We thank fans for their understanding as we work to fix the issue as soon as possible.”

Netherlands and Senegal fail to pack house in Qatar

However, this wasn't the only glaring crowd issue on Day 2 of the FIFA World Cup. There were empty seats around the stadium for the blockbuster clash between Netherlands and Senegal.

However, Qatar released the official attendance and 41,721. What made this stat more remarkable is the stadium capacity is 40,000.

Netherland and Senegal players line-up before kick-off.
Empty seats can be seen behind the Netherland and Senegal players only moments before kick-off.(Photo by ANP via Getty Images)

Fans commented on social media that they could clearly see empty seats in the stadium and it was not close to capacity. Many pointed out the disappointment considering the Netherlands and Senegal clash in Group A was one of the biggest games of the round.

Others blasted the overall spectacle of the Qatar World Cup so far with former footballer Joey Barton labelling the scenes as a 'shame'.

Since the numbers started circulating on social media, FIFA released a stadium capacity update. Many stadiums received a bump in capacity numbers.

On Day 1 of the FIFA World Cup, Qatar fans filed out of the stadium when they were 2-0 down to Ecuador in the opening game. While the match started with over 67,000 fans in attendance, football fans around the world were dismayed when the stadium was half-empty early in the second half.

Football broadcasts around the world showed dozens of empty seats in the stands in embarrassing scenes for FIFA and Qatar. Many on social media were also quick to point out that there weren't too many women visible in the crowd, while others brutally labelled the Qatar World Cup the 'worst ever' after just one game.

with AAP

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