Sunday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup final in Russia is causing anguish and frustration for thousands of football fans who can’t get tickets for the showpiece event.
This, according to findings by our Chief Football Writer, Fisayo Dairo who has been accredited for the final game, is due to the frustrating scarcity of the tickets on official platforms dedicated for it by World’s football governing body, FIFA.
1998 winners France and Croatia face at the 81,000 capacity Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday night with the most expensive tickets sold at 1,100 US dollars on the official rates while the cheapest ticket rate is just above one hundred dollars. However, things have changed and fans, willing to even pay more than these are finding it increasingly difficult to buy.
Houshmand Aadbakht has travelled from Tehran to watch the semi-final and final games in Moscow. He was at the Luzhniki to watch Croatia beat England but as at Saturday night, he is yet to get a ticket for the final.
“It is frustrating that I have not found a ticket for the final yet,” the Iranian told www.aclsports.com
“I still hope to get one before the game but if I don’t, I will be disappointed. That’s what I came for. I bought the semi-final ticket for about 285 dollars and I am even ready to pay over 500 for this, yet I can’t get,” added Houshmand who is in Moscow with his friend.
In the same vein, an electronics expert, Huang Jingdong, a Chinese is also yet to get a ticket for the final game. He has gone as far as checking other online portals different from the official platform but the price seem to be putting him off.
“I checked a website and they were charging for 1,500 dollars. That is the cheapest I’ve seen. I got my own semi final category for about 1,000 dollars but I can only pay 1,100 for this.
“I hope I will get it because I need it so badly but in the event that I don’t get, I will have to watch at the Fan Fest,” said Huang who lives in China’s commercial hub, Shanghai.
Category two tickets for the final was officially sold for 710 US dollars while Category three, the second to the last was sold for 450 dollars. However, a check at some online platforms reveal that these two tickets now sell for 1,800 and 1,500 dollars respectively as at Saturday night.
Chibuzor Amos is one of very few Nigerians hoping to see the final inside the Luzhniki Stadium. Having watched the game between England and Croatia, he only has one word to qualify his troubles in getting a final ticket; “frustration”.
“It is kind of frustrating that for all the tickets I requested from FIFA (before the tournament), I could get everything apart from the final,” Amos told www.aclsports.com
“It is really really frustrating that I could see every game but I couldn’t have the opportunity of seeing the final. I really wish FIFA could help provide a kind of alternative, I don’t know what it can be, anything around 1,000 dollars, I should be fine but there is none on the FIFA website now.
“If I don’t get, I will have to make do with the FIFA Fan Fest. It is really really frustrating, coming so close, being in Moscow and still being unable to watch the game,” he lamented.
Sunday’s all-European final between France and Croatia will kick off at 6pm local time (4pm in Nigeria).
Fisayo Dairo reporting from Moscow