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PFF Must Offer Better Fan Experience in Next Home Fixtures

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Pakistan men’s football team lost to Tajikistan 6-1 in their home ground Jinnah Stadium, Islamabad to make it 2-out-of-2 losses in the 2nd round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Pakistan’s solitary goal was scored by midfielder Rahis Nabi, but other than that Pakistan were lacking throughout the match.

Supporters of the national football team had to face some hurdles while reaching the stadium. Gate 14 (VIP Enclosure) had people outside waiting for the gates to open when the match was about to start. There was confusion because the ticket didn’t have a gate number written on it.

Just when the match was about to start, the ticketing application refused to book tickets which sent a signal to the supporters that the match was sold out. Many people contacted me to ask whether the match was sold out or were on-spot tickets available. There was no clarity about on-spot tickets.

Other than the tickets getting scanned, supporters had to get an entry stamp on their hands. Many supporters reached the stadium gates only to find out that a stamp was required to enter, although they already had a ticket. All in all, there was a lack of clarity in many situations.

The Pakistan Football Federation must address these issues because contrary to expectations, it was an enormous crowd of 18,000+ people, and the mismanagement was evident on part of both the federation and their ticketing partner. Next time around, if the PFF manages to install seats in all enclosures, it would be a humongous crowd and the federation must be ready to accommodate all the fans in a much better way.

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