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World Cup 2022: Issues with FIFA ticketing app cause frustration for fans attending England vs. Iran game

Many fans were unable to quickly get into the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday ahead of England’s World Cup game vs. Iran because of issues with FIFA’s ticket app.

Tickets apparently were disappearing from people’s accounts in the hours before the game. That meant ticketholders had nothing for gate attendants to scan when they reached the stadium.

FIFA issued a statement confirming the problems that fans were having trying to get into the game. While there were some empty seats at kickoff of the game, the stadium wasn’t noticeably empty.

“Some spectators are currently experiencing an issue with accessing their tickets via the FIFA Ticketing app,” FIFA said in its statement. “FIFA is working on solving the issue. 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 stadiums 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.”

The app’s issues show the risks of paperless ticketing in our modern world. While paper tickets have their risks themselves — you can lose them and have no proof you possessed them — mobile tickets rely on a solid technological infrastructure. And if that infrastructure fails, then it can cause significant issues at inopportune times.

England vs. Iran is just the second game of the tournament after the pomp and circumstance ahead of the opening game on Sunday. Hosts Qatar lost to Ecuador 2-0 in that game.

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 21: The adidas 'Al Rihla' FIFA World Cup match balls are seen prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and IR Iran at Khalifa International Stadium on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Alex Pantling - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 21: The adidas 'Al Rihla' FIFA World Cup match balls are seen prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and IR Iran at Khalifa International Stadium on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Alex Pantling - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)