World Cup 2022: Ticketing app issues mean hundreds of fans miss start of England v Iran

Empty seats at the Khalifa International Stadium
There were empty seats around the Khalifa International Stadium at kick-off
Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull coverage details

Hundreds of fans missed the start of England’s opening match against Iran at the World Cup because of an issue with Fifa’s ticketing app.

The match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha was the second of the tournament.

And at kick-off at 13:00 GMT on Monday some fans were stuck outside with Fifa saying there were issues with the app.

There were large queues at ticketing centres around the stadium as fans attempted to gain access.

England went on to win the game 6-2 with two goals from Bukayo Saka plus strikes from Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish.

Several England fans spoke to BBC Sport about their frustration with delays getting into the stadium.

“I’ve got a ticket for this evening, and it has disappeared from the app,” one fan said. “The system has crashed, it says there is no way for us to get access to the application.”

Another said: “The frustration is we’ve got to the stadium two and a half hours early. We’ve come all the way to Qatar. We paid £150 for each ticket, £800 for the flights – and the tickets disappeared.”

England took the knee before kick-off and England captain Harry Kane wore Fifa’s No Discrimination armband, after the football associations of seven European nations chose not to wear the OneLove armband because of the threat of players being booked.

The Iran national anthem was widely jeered in the stadium, with the country’s players refusing to sing.

Human rights activists have said more than 400 anti-government protesters have been killed in Iran and 16,800 others arrested in a crackdown by security forces in recent months.

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