Fans slam ’embarrassing’ World Cup final attendance after empty seats were spotted for Argentina’s penalties win over France – despite organisers claiming a sell-out attendance… after a tournament that saw few full stadiums in Qatar
The Lusail Stadium was dotted with empty seats on Sunday as Argentina and France played out one of the most thrilling World Cup finals in history.
Fans did file in as the game progressed in Lionel Messi’s side’s tense penalties win, but at kick off the ground was far from full.
Games were rarely fully attended in Qatar, with most stadiums featuring at least a few empty seats despite huge international attention on the tournament.
The Lusail Stadium was dotted with empty seats for the start of the World Cup final
Lionel Messi’s Argentina brought the trophy home after a tense win on penalties
Fans were scathing about the final’s attendance, with one commenting it looked like there were a ‘lot of people dressed like empty seats at the World Cup final.’
Another added that the turnout was ’embarrassing for Qatar, embarrassing for FIFA’ and that they ‘exploded the myth that Qatar is football mad.’
The attendance was also labelled ‘a disgrace ‘ and ‘damning’ after the support Argentina had received throughout the tournament.
Even TV presenter Nick Knowles shared his distaste, tweeting: ‘Surely this has to be a first – World Cup final and vast amount of empty seats in the stadium. Farcical,’ although he later admitted it may have looked more empty given the number of fans dressed in white, the same colour as the seats.
There were some who blamed FIFA’s ticket allocation system for the poor attendance, but conceded it was ‘hugely embarrassing.’
Stadiums were rarely full during the tournament as most games saw at least a few empty seats
Fans online were damning about the attendance for such an important game
A few fans defended the turnout as something that happens at many football events and blamed ‘corporate hospitality’, as one pointed out ‘the same thing happens at Wembley for the FA Cup final.
Despite the poor attendance, Argentina and France put on a show in Qatar. Lionel Scaloni’s men surged into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Messi and Angel Di Maria amid a lackluster start from the French, but Kylian Mbappe turned the game on its head late on with two goals in as many minutes.
Mbappe completed his hattrick in extra time as Messi also added to his tally, before another excellent performance in the penalty shoot-out from Emiliano Martinez saw Argentina home.
The win means Messi has finally emulated his compatriot Diego Maradona and won the trophy that has always eluded him.