England ticket fiasco, Iran goalkeeper medical hiccup: World Cup day two talking points

A fault with Fifa's e-ticketing system leaves hundreds of England fans stranded while Iran players' pre-match protests undone by failure of team medics

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Plenty to chew over following Day Two's matches in Doha.

England ticket shambles

Hundreds of England fans who purchased tickets to see their team's opening match against Iran were left frustrated on Monday due to a fault with Fifa's e-ticketing system.

Swathes of the Khalifa International Stadium were empty well into the match, which England eventually won 6-2, with fans reporting that their tickets had simply vanished from the app.

"We cannot see our tickets and there is this line, so we don't know what is going on," one fan told Reuters before the match.

Disgruntled supporters complained of waiting hours outside the main ticket office as temperatures reached 28 degrees.

The National's Nick Webster spoke to one England fan after the match who did manage to see the game despite suffering the same issue.

England fan Paul Bine with the Hayya card that did not help his entry into the stadium. Andy Scott / The National

“I got to the stadium in plenty of time, around two hours before kick off," Paul Bine said.

"I got to the front of the queue but my app with the QR code wasn’t working so they wouldn’t let me in.

"I got another card out with my Hayya code on but that wasn’t working either. It was a nightmare.

"It took me about an hour and a half to get it sorted, with another print out of my ticket. I only just made kick-off. It was worth it though; 6-2 was a great result.”

Fifa said in a statement: “Some spectators are currently experiencing an issue with accessing their tickets via the Fifa ticketing app. Fifa is working on solving the issue.

“In the meantime, fans who are not able to access their mobile tickets should check the email accounts they used to register with the ticketing app for further instructions.

"In case fans cannot access their email accounts, the stadium's Ticket Resolution Point will be able to support. We thank fans for their understanding as we work to fix the issue as soon as possible.”

Iran medics let goalkeeper down

The Iran team earned plaudits by refusing to sing the national anthem before their Group B opener against England in an apparent expression of support for anti-government protests in their home country.

That good sentiment, however, was undermined somewhat by the team's medical staff halfway through the first half.

Goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand was involved in a sickening clash of heads with defender Majid Hosseini that left both players in a heap and Beiranvand with a bloodied nose.

Beiranvand required lengthy treatment in which it was obvious to anyone watching that he would be unable to continue.

But despite being tended to by Iran medics and a Fifa-appointed doctor, Beiranvand tried to carry on, seemingly encouraged by the medics and even his own captain, Ehsan Hajisafi.

The minutes ticked by before, inexplicably, Iran decided to leave Beiranvand on the field, a move which appeared to contravene Fifa concussion protocols as well as common sense.

Beiranvand, however, briefly continued before asking to be substituted moments later, collapsing to the ground and eventually leaving the field on a stretcher to be replaced by substitute Hossein Hosseini

As a result of that there was 14 minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first half.

While there is sympathy for Beiranvand, whose World Cup is almost certainly over if he has failed concussion protocols, there is indignation that the Iran medical staff did not take the decision out of his hands and signal for him to come off long before he eventually did.

Goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand of Iran receives medical attention following a clash of heads with his own player. EPA

Welcome back to the World Cup Netherlands

Back at football’s showpiece for the first time in eight years, the Netherlands needed 85 minutes to announce their arrival.

Late goals by Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen gave the Dutch a 2-0 victory over African champions Senegal on Monday as the three-time beaten finalists made their return to the global finals.

With Senegal missing injured star man Sadio Mane and the Dutch without their main attacking threat Memphis Depay at kick off, the Group A encounter in Doha looked set to end in a goalless draw.

But with just six minutes remaining PSV Eindhoven forward Gakpo got up in front of Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to head in a floated Frenkie de Jong cross from the left.

Substitute Klaassen then secured the victory deep in injury time, following up to score after Mendy had saved from Depay, who had also come off the bench.

"I always had the feeling we were going to score a goal," said Van Gaal, who is in his third spell as coach of the national team.

"It was an efficient win but I also thought we were fitter because every two minutes the Senegalese were lying on the ground.

"So I think it was a well-deserved victory even if I don't think it was a good match from us."

The result leaves the Netherlands level at the top of the group with Ecuador, who beat hosts Qatar 2-0 in the tournament's opening match on Sunday.

Van Gaal's side play Ecuador on Friday, while Senegal now face a must-win contest against Qatar.

Updated: November 22, 2022, 7:45 AM
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