Hayya Card holders allowed to watch Qatar match for free

Featured image credit: Rowen Smith on Unsplash

Hayya Card holders were allowed to enter Al Bayt Stadium without tickets for yesterday’s match between FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar and the Netherlands. 

Hayya Cards are Fan IDs needed for travelling to Qatar in order to enter the country, stadiums and access free transport. 

According to Tariq Panja, a reporter for the New York Times, Hayya Card holders were allowed to enter the game if they showed up at the gate, even if they didn’t have tickets. 

He said: “Not seen this before at a World Cup. Hayya Card holders were allowed free entry into Qatar-Holland if they showed up at the gate. Seats assigned as they arrived. Crowd is much fuller than it was at the start of the game.”

However, allowing fans in without a ticket caused issues once inside the stadium. 

Panja said that families and construction workers from India had travelled in and told that they would have free entry to the Qatar game. Once inside the stadium, they found that they had no seats. 

Qatar became the first nation to be knocked out of the World Cup in just six days after two defeats against Ecuador and Senegal, meaning there were a large number of seats available for the country’s clash against the Netherlands. 

After Qatari officials allowed Hayya Card holders in, the crowd appeared fuller despite many searching to find a seat once inside Al Bayt Stadium. 

Panja added that the eventual total attendance was announced as 66,784, though it was hard to tell how this had been worked out with those looking for a seat.

Last week, FIFA updated the stadium capacities with the Al Bayt Stadium able to hold 68,895.