Witnessing a FIFA World Cup (WC) live is on every football fan’s wish list. And the 2022 FIFA WC, beginning in November, is a golden chance for Indian football followers to tick that wish off their bucket lists as this time it is closer to home, in Qatar, and hence easy on pockets. But with the two phases of the ticket sales already closed, one is left with only the last chance — 'Last-Minute Sales Phase' — to grab this rare opportunity to fulfill their dream.
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 am looking forward to a trip that will make a dream of a lifetime come true,” says football fan Jeremy Frederick, an employee at BNY Mellon.
“Of course, this has been a trip we have planned for a while. It has been a dream, and Qatar is obviously the best time (place) to do it in terms of cost for us Asians,” says another football enthusiast, Jonathan Samuel, who works at Freshworks.
However, it is still a matter of at least a lakh depending on which ticket one is booking and when.
“We have been saving up since the middle of last year and we do have a budget of around Rs 80,000, though we could stretch to Rs 1 lakh, depending on the ticket status,” Frederick told CNBCTV18.com.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will begin on November 21 and the Final of the tournament will be held on December 18.
The FIFA WC tickets are divided in four categories - CAT 1, CAT 2, CAT 3 and CAT 4. While ticket categories 1, 2 and 3 are available to all fans, category 4 is reserved for residents of Qatar.
According to the FIFA website, the cheapest ticket price is 250 Qatar Riyal (Rs 5,362) for individual match tickets for Group Matches (Category 3) while the price of the Final is as high as 5’850 Qatar Riyal (Rs 1,25,597) for Category 1. The price is 6’435 Qatar Riyal (Rs 1,38,138) for conditional supporter tickets (Category 1) for the Final.
Source: FIFA Website
Source: FIFA 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.
However, many are still struggling to procure tickets despite having saved up for the big event. “We don’t have 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 facing a similar issue. “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.
First Published: Jun 12, 2022 8:11 AM IST
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