Already outnumbered by many rival nations, a ticketing mix-up is believed to have resulted in travelling Australian fans also being unusually spread out in the stands of the Socceroos’ World Cup stadium.
While other countries have large and loud supporter sections across stadiums in Qatar — none bigger than Tunisia who the Socceroos beat in their last mast — the main congregation of Australia’s fans appears relatively small in one corner of the Al Janoub Stadium.
That’s partly due to the fact that less Australians have travelled to the event than at previous World Cup but confusion in the process of buying tickets may also be a reason for the fact supporters wearing green and gold are speckled around the ground and struggling for a collective cheering voice.
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Multiple sources have told foxsports.com.au many travelling supporters received an incorrect link by Football Australia that meant they couldn’t log in to buy tickets allocated for Australian fans to allow them to sit together. It’s unclear if the link originated from FA, or FIFA.
The issue was rectified within days and the correct link sent out, but by that point many supporters — eager to make sure they would not miss out on tickets — had already purchased them via the official FIFA channel, meaning they would be seated elsewhere.
Approached for comment Fanatics founder and leader Warren Livingstone was not aware of specifics on the ticketing issue but said: “It does seem like the Australian crowds are spread out more than other countries.
“We don’t seem to have the pocket of strong support that the other countries have, which made it difficult against Tunisia — it is difficult to generate noise.”
Those sitting in other sections of the ground will surely be having a unique World Cup experience — especially the two Aussie fans spotted deep among the active Tunisian supporters.
Despite the apparent mix-up fans are still grateful to be at the World Cup and morale is high among the Australian fans in Doha as the Socceroos prepare to face Denmark in a bid to reach the last 16 for only the second time.
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The proximity of stadiums in Qatar, and the availability of tickets, means some Australian fans are attending two matches a day, with some watching up to 20 over the course of the tournament.
“It’s the fifth World Cup we’ve been to in recent times following the Socceroos and it’s never had this level of excitement,” Livingstone said.
“Because of the way the tournament is set up, everybody is watching so many games, going to so many games.
“You know what’s going on and you follow the tournament so much more than normal and everybody is absolutely engulfed in it.”
Football Australia said in a statement it was “ not aware of any ticketing errors” for the travelling supporters.
“Depending on the ticket category and when the tickets were purchased during the different FIFA sales cycle or if via their resale platform, this will impact where in the stadium fans will be seated,” the statement read.