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The last chance for Indian football fans to buy tickets for the 2022 World Cup

Updated  

Jun-12 12:47 first published at 12:47 PM


Every football fan’s dream is to attend a FIFA World Cup (WC) match live. And the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off in November, is a wonderful opportunity for Indian football fans to cross that item off their bucket lists, given it will be held in Qatar, which is closer to home and thus less expensive. However, with the first two stages of ticket sales now closed, there is just one more chance — the ‘Last-Minute Sales Phase’ — to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realize one’s goal.

The dates for the third and the final phase called the ‘Last-Minute Sales Phase’ based on the ‘First Come First Served’ basis are yet to be announced but the window is likely to open two months prior to the final match and may remain open till the end of the tournament.

“I’m looking forward to a trip that will fulfill a lifelong goal,” says BNY Mellon employee Jeremy Frederick, a football aficionado.

“Of course, we’ve been planning this vacation for quite some time. It’s been a dream, and Qatar is definitely the greatest time (place) to do it in terms of cost for us Asians,” says Jonathan Samuel, a Freshworks employee who is also a football fan.

However, depending on which ticket and when it is booked, it will cost at least a lakh.

“We’ve been saving since the middle of last year,” Frederick told CNBCTV18.com. “We have a budget of roughly Rs 80,000, though we could go to Rs 1 lakh depending on the ticket status.”

The FIFA World Cup 2022 will begin on November 21 and end on December 18, with the final taking place on December 18.

Tickets for the FIFA World Cup are separated into four groups: CAT 1, CAT 2, CAT 3, and CAT 4. While ticket categories 1, 2, and 3 are open to all spectators, category 4 is only available to Qataris.

According to the FIFA website, the cheapest individual match ticket for Group Matches (Category 3) is 250 Qatar Riyal (Rs 5,362), while the Final costs 5’850 Qatar Riyal (Rs 1,25,597) for Category 1. Conditional supporter tickets (Category 1) for the Final cost 6’435 Qatar Riyals (Rs 1,38,138).

FIFA’s official website FIFA’s official website

FIFA’s official website FIFA’s official website

“India provides a goldmine of absolutely first-class football supporters,” John Parker of BH Hospitality, official FIFA partner, had said earlier.

The number of Indians attending FIFA World Cup 2022 is expected to go up to more than 7,000 people from 3,000 fans in 2018 for the event held in Russia, Parker told Moneycontrol in April.

Despite having saved up for the big event, many people are still having trouble getting tickets. “We haven’t received our tickets yet.” There is still another sale left where we have planned to procure tickets for the initial stages of the World Cup at least,” said Frederick.

The Phase 1 of the ticket sales began on January 19, 2022, and ended on March 29, 2022 whereas the Phase 2 started on April 5, 2022, and ended on April 28, 2022.

Samuel is dealing with a similar problem. “We haven’t been able to procure tickets yet because of the unavailability and high demand,” he said.

He hopes to get the tickets in the next phase of sales with a budget of around Rs 1 lakh. “I have been saving up since the start of the year, although I do plan to take help from my parents, if need be.”

Arjun Bhargava, an entrepreneur, who has also applied for a ticket, is still awaiting response from FIFA, hoping he would be able to fetch one for himself. If allotted, Bhargava plans to use his air miles for flight tickets while spending some amount on the WC ticket. He, however, has a budget of Rs 4 to 5 lakh for the trip.

While many are keeping their hopes high of getting the tickets, some have cancelled their plans due to the “confusing” and “complicated” process of ticket sales. Ashwin Vijayakumar, who runs a shipping company, is among the people who have decided to skip the event.

“It is very disappointing. There wasn’t much clarity on how to bid for the tickets. It was more of a lucky draw. I thought the process would be simpler,” said Vijayakumar, who had a budget of around Rs 60,000.

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