DOHA, Qatar -- Organizers of the Asian Cup acknowledged that as many as 3,000 fans were denied entry to the final match but insisted that many did not have tickets and those that did should have come earlier.
Scenes of angry spectators outside the stadium during the final between Australia and Japan marred what otherwise had been a successfully organized tournament for Qatar which will be hosting the 2022 World Cup.
Organizers said the gates were closed five minutes after the match started and never opened again. They said the tight security was in place because members of the emirate's royal family attended the match.
Local organizers said they would discuss with the Asian Football Confederation the possibly of refunds.