AFC Asian Cup: UAE-Qatar match tickets sell like hot cakes
The UAE fans celebrate the quarterfinal win against Australia at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in al ain.
Abu Dhabi - Tickets are still available on various online sources.
The UAE, without much fanfare, made it to the semifinals of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 - the biggest tournament in the history with 24 teams.
The 'Whites' punched above their weight and thumped defending champions Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals. The UAE now face Qatar in the semifinals at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday. A victory will put them on the cusp of history - lifting the cup at home.
Stakes don't get bigger and better than this. And tickets for the hotly anticipated clash against Qatar were in great demand right after the sensational quarterfinal result on Friday night. Such was the demand that there were no tickets available on the AFC official website www.ticketmaster.ae with all the categories of Dh50, 75 and 150 sold out by Sunday afternoon.
The Abu Dhabi Sports Council had announced distribution of free tickets. And scores of fans queued for the tickets from early morning on Sunday. They all waited patiently for their turns and lucky ones went home with a ticket.
Tickets are still available on various online sources - like www.viagogo.com - where tickets are resold. These fast selling tickets come at a premium - from Dh300 to Dh1,000 and more, depending on the category.
The UAE players have always maintained that the fans are their source of inspiration. The fan attendance had slightly dropped after first two matches where the UAE didn't looked convincing. However, improved display against Kyrgyzstan saw Hazza bin Zayed Stadium being packed with 25,000 fans for match against Australia.
The atmosphere at Al Ain Stadium was electrifying and the UAE fans celebrated the victory over Australia long after the match got over.
Mohammad Jasim, a fan from Al Ain, promised to be in the stands to root for his team in the semifinals. "Yes, I will be there with my brothers. We play Qatar. How can I miss this," he said while celebrating outside the stadium after the quarterfinal win.
There is a lucky Indian expat Rasik Ossan Kunnath, who is hoping to get five free tickets. Rasik was recently honoured by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council as a passionate fan.
"I am in touch with the Council. They have promised me up to five tickets for the match day. I will cheer for the UAE with my friends," he said.