DOHA: Huge online queues built up today for the latest sale of tickets for the World Cup in Qatar.
Fans around the world reported waiting more than an hour to get a place on the Fifa website to make an application for tickets which it says will be allocated in a random draw.
Football’s governing body sold more than 800,000 of the 3 million tickets for the tournament, which starts Nov 21, in a first round of the campaign.
It said that “high demand” was expected for the new sales as fans now know the groups and when individual countries will be playing after Friday’s draw.
Several fans complained on social media that they had faced a long wait to get onto the ticket site.
“I stayed up until 6am making four different World Cup accounts in order to get tickets, and had to sit in a 1+ hour queue each time,” said one fan on Twitter.
Fans can for the first time apply for tickets for two matches on the same day. Fifa said this was because of “the tournament’s uniquely compact nature and short travel times between all eight state-of-the-art stadiums”.
This round of sales will end on April 28 at 9am GMT. Fifa said that people whose application had been selected in the computer draw would be told by May 31.
Qatari residents, including the army of migrant workers in the Gulf state, can buy tickets for as little as 40 riyals (US$11).
Foreign fans will have to pay between US$68 and US$220 for a ticket for a first round group match. The first round has been made more attractive by a draw that pitted Germany and Spain together in Group E. The two teams will clash on Nov 27.
Tickets for the final on Dec 18 will cost up to US$1,600.
Qatar, the US, England, Mexico, UAE, Germany, India, Brazil, Argentina and Saudi Arabia were the top 10 markets in the first round of sales.
Tickets for the first World Cup in an Arab nation are on average 30% more expensive than for the last tournament in Russia.