Fans attempting to buy tickets for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France have complained about issues with the ticketing system on Tuesday during the first phase of general public sale.

Organisers reported that all 350,000 tickets available for the round were sold within five hours.

However, many fans reported issues with the ticketing system after spending hours queuing on Tuesday only to be kicked out of the system or failing to be able to finalise purchases.

Other supporters who were able complete their purchase, with the option to buy groups of tickets for multiple matches, reported not being removed from the system. This allowed them to continue purchasing other packs of tickets while other supporters remained in the queue.

Claude Atcher, chief executive of France 2023, said: “These 350,000 tickets that sold in record time confirms the global interest for this Rugby World Cup. Whether it be the products offered or our pricing policy, we feel we met the expectations of both French and international fans.”

Many frustrated fans took to social media, labelling the system as “truly dreadful” and “a shocking process,” with one fan adding: “There’s no sign of an apology for the disastrous experience that so many more people have had with your wholly inadequate website and therefore left without tickets. I’d guess that many of these 350k tickets have gone to touts or resale sites and leaving genuine fans with nothing.

“You have made no attempt to rectify these problems, shown contempt and breath-taking arrogance towards fans who are the lifeblood of the game. You should be ashamed, but you won’t be. It’s disgraceful and you know it.”

Organisers were forced to apologise in March after fans experienced glitches and long waiting times during the initial pre-sale period for members of the ‘2023 family’. Many fans reported problems with the ticket platform, with organisers admitting that website visitors were met with error messages for seven minutes in the early afternoon.

The France 2023 organising committee said that new products and tickets for the knockout phases will be made available to the general public in autumn 2021.

It also reminded fans that tickets being advertised on non-official platforms will be made void, with an official resale platform to be launched in early 2022.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup will take place in France from September 8 to October 28 in nine venues across the country. The opening match and final will take place at the 80,700-capacity Stade de France in Paris.

Image: Rugby World Cup