Wales fans warned to get Qatar visa permit finalised ASAP for crucial clash against England s game, fans told
Football fans arriving on shuttle flights for Wales’ final Group B game against England have been advised to finalise their Qatar visa as soon as possible.
Several Wales fans travelling from Dubai experienced issues with their Hayya cards ahead of Friday’s 2-0 defeat to Iran, with reports of some missing the game as a result.
Supporters with a match ticket are able to apply for a Matchday Visit Hayya Card, which is a visa permit that allows entry into Qatar for up to 24 hours.
The Wales Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) said “loads finally got approved late” for the Iran game and noted it had informed Fifa and the Football Association of Wales (FAW).
The Foreign Office advises fans they need to apply for a Hayya Card if they are visiting Qatar for fewer than 24 hours, noting: “(You) must ensure that your application has been approved for each individual match day visit.
“You should input the details of your day trip as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delays.”
Paul Corkrey, from the Wales FSA, said: “I don’t think people fully understood the way the Hayya card works.
“Not to blame anybody – we should’ve really been given one visa for the tournament, really, not just the match days.
“I’d urge people to get the permit for Tuesday as soon as possible.
“Do it on your browser not on the phone and don’t delete the app, just go into it and delete the previous application. It won’t work if your previous permit is still showing.
“The authorities think it’s a simple process and think the fans are too stupid to do it, but it’s easy when you’re not flustered and panicking about the amount you’ve spent on this trip going to waste.
“We’ve even had criticism ourselves for not doing more or being out in Dubai but we’re only volunteers and we’re trying our best.
“The World Cup is in Doha, as are most of the fans, so this is where we thought it was important to be.”
Mr Corkrey said he and his colleagues are still trying to gather numbers on how many people missed flights or encountered problems prior to the Iran fixture.
Mr Corkrey, asked if he thought any trouble could break out between the fans of the two home nations at their head-to-head on Tuesday, said: “There is always a chance of trouble but I’m not concerned at all.
“From what the police tell me, there’s been no arrests of British nationals in Doha, which goes to show just how tolerant it actually is here and that fans are just here to have a good time and enjoy the football.
“People are on their best behaviour but they are still having a lot of fun, drinking, singing in the street, partying with other fans.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.