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SPORTS | 16-12-2022 11:29

Argentina fans in Doha protest over World Cup final tickets

Argentina fans staged a second day of demonstrations Friday outside a Doha hotel demanding that their country's national federation help them to get tickets for the World Cup final.

Argentina fans staged a second day of demonstrations Friday outside a Doha hotel demanding that the Argentine Football Association (AFA) help them to get tickets for the World Cup final.

Amid a growing frenzy ahead of Sunday's game against defending champions France, supporters said the cheapest official tickets are selling on underground markets for more than US$4,000.

Scores of fans gathered outside the Doha hotel where AFA officials are based.

On Thursday night there were angry exchanges with officials outside the hotel. Some fans carried placards reading "AFA give us tickets." The federation finally agreed to a meeting with a delegation of three fans.

Each country that qualified for the quarter-finals was given an extra allocation of tickets for matches they reached.

But with even more fans arriving from Argentina and France for the game, no announcement was made on whether more tickets will be made available.

The Lusail Iconic Stadium holds about 88,900 people but more than 30,000 Argentines are reported to be in Qatar. Many have taken out loans to be in the Gulf state to see Lionel Messi's last bid to win a World Cup title.

Ticket negotiations are being held on a multitude of WhatsApp groups. Some Argentinian fans showed AFP messages requesting more than US$4,000 for final tickets with a face value of US$750. The most expensive tickets, which FIFA says should cost US$5,850, are being offered for more than US$14,000.

Roberto Bascur, 53, who has been in Qatar since the start of the tournament, said he had bought tickets for every Argentina match from unofficial sources: "Whoever was selling outside the stadium had at least 15 to 20 tickets."

Cintia Echanis, 51, said the protesters wanted access to tickets at the official price.

"What happens is that the resale is about US$5,000, and it is a lot for those of us who have been here since the beginning and who have paid for many tickets. We don't want problems. What we want as Argentines is to have the chance cheer for Argentina again," she added.

AFA did not immediately comment on the availability of tickets.

 

 

– TIMES/AFP

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