Fans locked out of the Asian Cup final could get refund

By Patrick Johnston

DOHA (Reuters) - Asian Cup organizers are considering giving a refund to the 700 or so supporters who were locked out of the final despite holding valid tickets because of a heavy security presence.

Fans were still complaining at halftime that they could not enter the Khalifa Stadium on Saturday where the gates were locked 55 minutes before kickoff as part of security measures for a number of VIPs including the Qatari heir to the throne.

The Qatari Local Organizing Committee (QLOC) said on Sunday that around 3,000 supporters had been outside the ground before kickoff but only around 700 of them held valid tickets for the final in which Japan beat Australia 1-0 in extra time.

When asked if refunds would be given, QLOC director Jassim Al Romaihi told reporters on Sunday: "We will consider that.

"I think they can go to our website and they can protest regarding this, we will discuss this issue also with AFC.

Al Romaihi said they had done everything they could with the security surrounding the Emir's son being out of his control.

"In general I am very happy with what we have done. There are some issues that have been raised and we will consider it as we have a lot of events coming up like the (2022) World Cup.

(Editing by Sonia Oxley)