Qatar 2022 fans without tickets will be denied entry to country
Fans without match tickets will be denied entry to Qatar during the World Cup later this year over fears that there might be enough accommodation available.
Many football enthusiasts will have started planning their trips to the host country after the official draw for the FIFA showpiece tournament was completed on Friday.
As confirmed by chief operating officer of the government-run Qatar Tourism group Berhold Trenkel. though, only fans with match tickets already purchased will be issued FIFA IDs which can then help obtain visas to enter Qatar.
"A decision has been taken that only fans with match tickets will be allowed visas," Trenkel explained to The Sun.
"They will need official fan IDs to get into Qatar and those who do not have them will not be allowed to travel. The rules are strict and are there for a reason," he added.
Such moves will also prevent scenes witnessed last summer when thousands of football fans without tickets flocked to London on the day of England's Euro 2020 final showdown with Italy.
As incidents of vandalization, fighting and littering were widely reported across the UK capital, some fans even stormed Wembley Stadium without tickets and managed to sneak in to see the Three Lions lose to Italy on penalties.
Qatar, USA, England, Mexico and UAE have bought the most tickets for the World Cup during the first phase of sales 🎟️ pic.twitter.com/2JzxjaywX7— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 30, 2022
The news comes on the same weekend that LGBTQ supporters were warned that rainbow flags could be confiscated inside Qatar 2022's eight stadiums.
Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari, who is overseeing security for the tournament, said that such items could be confiscated for fans' own good and advised them to demonstrate their views "about the situation" in a society "where it will be accepted".
"We realize that this man got the ticket [and] comes here to watch the game, not to demonstrate, a political [act] or something which is in his mind. Watch the game," Al Ansari demanded. "That’s good."
"But don’t really come in and insult the whole society because of this."
"Let’s not go beyond the individual personal things which might be happening between these people ... this is actually the concept," Al Ansari explained.
"Here we cannot change the laws. You cannot change the religion for 28 days of World Cup," the director of the Department of International Cooperation in Qatar underlined.