Socceroos fans furious after missing out in World Cup ticketing fiasco


As one of the final teams to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Socceroos placed their committed travelling support under significant stress.

And now, many fans are crying foul after they failed to receive a promised code which would allow them to purchase tickets in the sales window that opened on Tuesday evening.

With thousands determined to travel to Qatar and support the team in what will be a fifth consecutive World Cup appearance, the pressure to secure a seat at the Aussies’ three group games had been magnified by supporters having to wait for both successful qualification and one final ticket purchasing opportunity.

Two ticket-sales windows have come and gone in recent months, with fans of teams already having qualified snapping up around 1.8 million tickets according to FIFA.

For most Aussies, and with crucial play-off matches still ahead, July 5 loomed as the crucial date when the final window would open at 12pm Doha time.

Accessing seats via the FIFA website was certain to be problematic, with millions around the globe logging on to purchase what could be a relatively small number of remaining tickets. However, Ausse fans were encouraged to register their interest, via, become a Football Account holder and then be prepared for an important email.

That email would provide buyers with a code to use in the process of securing tickets, when the window officially opened at 7pm Tuesday night (AEST).

Sadly for some, that email and code never arrived or did so far too late.

My social media accounts lit up on Wednesday morning with long-time travelling fans furious at having seemingly missed the opportunity to be there to support their team in November. Many had already booked flights and accommodation, with only the final piece of the puzzle to be fit before they were locked in for the trip of a lifetime.

Instead, many are sitting in disbelief at having been left out in the ticketing cold and unsure as to whether another opportunity will arise, should more tickets potentially be made available during the current window, which closes on August 16.

Those intending to travel had filled out the Right to Purchase form emailed to them by Football Australia in the lead up to the sales window. After patiently waiting for a reply and the code that would allow him to access tickets specifically allocated to Australian fans, a close friend of mine with over 50 years of Socceroo support in the bank, gave up in desperation in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Realising that he was zero chance of securing tickets without the magical Football Australia code he had been romised, the Football Family member desperately sought to obtain them without the leg up that sees FIFA allocate around eight per cent of tickets to the fans of nations actually participating in the group matches.

His efforts proved farcical, with a link to purchase tickets to Australia’s matches resulting in a subsequent message apologising that such tickets were reserved for Australian supporters, ironically, something he believed he already was.

Another fan received email confirmation from Football Australia of his right to purchase tickets at 6.52pm on Tuesday night, with the window due to open eight minutes later. He logged on immediately, eventually progressing to the ticket purchasing page at 2.58am. By that time, all of the available tickets were long gone.

DOHA, QATAR - JUNE 13: Andrew Redmayne of Australia interacts with Mathew Ryan of Australia during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Playoff match between Australia Socceroos and Peru at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on June 13, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images)

Andrew Redmayne and Mathew Ryan (Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images)

The codes he received were supposedly applicable to all three group matches yet were not subsequently accepted for the France or Tunisia games.

It appears Aussie fans were up all hours, fighting among themselves for a small number of tickets on offer for the clash with Denmark on December 1.

A third and long-time travelling fan received no email, no code and after decades of following the team around the world to matches where he often filled the role of an on-the-ground correspondent to news sources back in Australia, will now miss a World Cup he so dearly hoped to attend.

No doubt there are some fans basking in the glow of claiming tickets to Qatar and good luck to them. However, it appears that the ticketing allocation and FA’s efforts to ensure those registered received fair opportunity to purchase them has fallen well short of ideal.

Accountability for what can only be described as a shambles is unknown. FIFA may have been paltry in terms of the exact number provided specifically to Australian supporters. Perhaps Football Australia was not prepared to cope with the large number of requests received and subsequently unable to inform people of their successful bids to purchase, as well as the code required to do so.

Moreover, allowing an individual to purchase up to six tickets may well have been exploited and frozen out many of the Socceroos’ most loyal and mobile fans, a group into which all those I have mentioned above fall.

I will not be holding my breath for truthful answers, as we have seen this sort of fiasco before and will most likely see it again. More importantly, a heck of a lot of people who deserve to witness our boys performing in Qatar, barring a miracle, may now not be able to do so and that is completely unacceptable.


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