Wales’s first World Cup in more than 60 years FINALLY begins! Welsh singing fills Qatari stadium as The Dragons face the USA… while other football fans are left stranded outside grounds after falling foul of glitchy FIFA app
- Excited Wales fans have been filing into the 44,000-capacity Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan this evening
- However, some have been left stranded outside the ground after falling foul of the glitchy FIFA ticketing app
- The Dragons face off against the United States of America in their first World Cup finals match since 1958
- Welsh talismen Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have both been named in the starting XI by manager Rob Page
Wales’s first World Cup for more than 60 years has finally got underway as they kick-off their campaign against the USA in front of a vociferous army of travelling fans in Qatar.
Welsh singing filled the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan ahead of kick-off tonight, as the Dragons face off against the Yanks with high hopes they will go far in the tournament.
Thousands of Wales fans have travelled to the Middle East to show their support for the team managed by Rob Page and led by talismanic captain Gareth Bale, while the US will be hoping to make up for failing to qualify for the last tournament in Russia in 2018.
Both will be hoping their side will follow in the footsteps of England, who recorded a comfortable 6-2 victory over Iran in their opening match earlier today.
The lead up to that game was beset with ticketing issues, as thousands were left stranded outside the stadium after a glitch in FIFA’s official ticketing app.
The vociferous Welsh fans will be hoping their team can perform a repeat of their Euro 2016 heroics, where they surprised many to make it to the semi-finals of the tournament.
Wales fans hold up a flag ahead of the match against the United States of America this evening
Wales fans chant in the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan this evening
Two Wales fans dressed in local garb pose for the camera before the match with the USA
Eager Wales fans wait for kick-off before their country’s opening match against the United States
Fans of the United States gather in the stands before the game
A USA fan, presumably from Texas, looks on before tonight’s match between the Yanks and Wales
Two United States fans dressed in patriotic gear, with one holding a replica World Cup trophy, smile before the match
They face stiff competition to make it out of Group B, which as well as containing the Yanks, holds England and Iran. The English saw off the Iranians with a comfortable 6-2 victory earlier today.
That match saw many fans left stranded outside after their tickets disappeared from the FIFA app on their mobile phones, prompting fury among those affected. There are reports that Welsh fans queuing ahead of tonight’s game were also affected.
Thousands of fans wanting to get into the England match queued in the searing heat as they stared at their mobile phones wondering why their electronic tickets had disappeared.
‘We’ve come all the way to Qatar to watch a couple of England games,’ one fan said, speaking to the BBC. ‘We had our tickets sorted, we paid £150 for each ticket – £800 for the flights. The tickets disappeared.’
The fan said he had arrived at the ground around three hours early, but was still delayed, while a second fan told the broadcaster that the fans had not been communicated with.
‘Nobody’s telling us anything,’ he said. ‘There’s no announcement. People are saying you can get in if you’ve got a Hayya card. But there’s no official announcement. Here we are, the greatest football show on earth. Brilliant,’ he said sarcastically.
In a statement FIFA later said: ‘Some spectators are currently experiencing an issue 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.’
England fans received an email from FIFA which contained a QR code to eventually allow them to enter the stadium to watch their team take on Iran.
The match later got underway on time and with no further problems, with the game itself seeing the Three Lions thrash the Iranians 6-2 to take a commanding lead at the top of the Group B table.