Football fans swarmed the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup ticket site Tuesday morning in hopes of scoring tickets, but many were kicked out of the site before they had the chance.
Tickets have been on fan’s minds for months as the countdown begins for the 2018 World Cup, set to be hosted in Russia this June. Although most tickets have been issued by a lottery, Tuesday marked the opening of a first-come, first-serve basis sales phase. The system was set up to have fans wait in a “line” on the site to reach the ticketing page. But, the high demand of customers on the site at once caused significant failures in the system.
Fans complained that they were on the site for hours waiting to get tickets, and some were able to buy tickets, but never received a confirmation.
The FIFA took to Twitter, apologizing for the site issues.
However, fans were not satisfied. Hundreds replied to their apology, asking for a solution to the problems they encountered. They questioned: Will we get our money back if the tickets didn’t go through? Now what are we supposed to do now that the games are sold out? Will ticket sales be suspended until the site is fixed? The FIFA later noted that since problems are still persisting, fans should fill out a ticketing enquiry form and said issues will be resolved “as soon as possible.”
In a statement on Monday, the FIFA announced that an aggregated sum of 1,303,616 tickets had been allocated since the start of ticket sales in September 2017. The “Last Minute Sales” Phase 3 will begin on April 18 and run up until the final match day of the competition. These remaining tickets will be available for a first-come-first-serve-basis again. Additionally, the FIFA has added a fourth special sales phase category, introduced in 2016, which reserves a certain amount of tickets for the cheapest price, solely for residents of the hosting country.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and 15 at 11 select host cities – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.