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Qatar bans overseas visitors without World Cup tickets

Only ticket-holders will be allowed to visit Qatar during this year’s FIFA World Cup as organisers seek to avoid security and accommodation provision challenges.

Those wishing to enter the country during November and December will need a Hayya card, the FIFA ID that is offered to those that have secured tickets for the 64 Qatar 2022 games. The Hayya card works as an entry visa and enables entry to stadiums and free public transportation.

It is believed that organisers decided to limit entry into the country to avoid security issues such as those seen at Wembley last summer when people without tickets attempted to barge their way into the Euro 2020 final. There are also concerns about the number of hotel rooms available for international travellers as well as those working at the tournament.

In an interview with The Sun on Sunday, Berhold Trenkel, chief operating officer of Qatar Tourism, said: “A decision has been taken that only fans with match tickets will be allowed visas. They will need official fan IDs to get into Qatar and those who do not have them will not be allowed to travel. The rules are strict and are there for a reason.”

The final round of Qatar 2022 ticket sales began this week with fans able to secure their place at this year’s FIFA World Cup finals.

A second random selection draw sales period for Qatar 2022 opened on April 5 and will run until April 28.

All tickets from the second phase will be allocated after the ticket application period has closed regardless of when the application was made. Fans will be notified of the outcome of their applications no sooner than May 31. FIFA added that if the number of tickets applied for exceeds the available ticket inventory for the domestic or international market, tickets will be allocated by a random selection draw process.

FIFA said fans can now, for the first time, request tickets to up to two matches per day at the beginning of the group stage. It said this was an “unprecedented benefit” of the tournament’s compact nature and short travel times between all eight stadiums.

Some 800,000 tickets from 17 million applications were secured during the first sales phase.

Image: Radoslaw Prekurat on Unsplash