July 14 was supposed to be an exciting day for football aficionados like me and my brother. A day earlier, we had bought tickets for the Benfica vs Setúbal match for the Algarve Cup at Estádio do Algarve and were all set to enjoy the game.
But I could never have imagined that I’d miss the first 20 minutes of the match due to horrible planning from the match’s organisers.
I bought the tickets beforehand at a CTT store, thinking this would spare me the hassle of having to wait in a long line for tickets before the game.
I already knew the receipt I had received at the CTT had to be traded at the stadium for the ticket, so we arrived around half-an-hour before the match. I asked one of the security guards, and he said it had to be traded at the Bilheteira (ticket booth).
To my dismay, the Bilheteira was a tiny white mobile structure that had about three people selling tickets to the several hundreds who were in line.
There was another structure near it, but it only had two signs – one saying ‘press accreditation’ and the other ‘invitations’.
I waited in the Bilheteira line for about 15 minutes before I realised I should have been in the other queue, which was much longer and which had no indication that it was where you should pick up your tickets if you had already bought them!
What this meant was that people who hadn’t bought a ticket were entering the stadium faster than those who had thought ahead and had reserved one beforehand.
Everyone who had reserved a ticket was outraged and we ended up losing 20 minutes of the first half.
I’m glad that we get to see matches like these in the Algarve, but maybe the organisers should learn how to competently organise an event.