Enormous queues of frustrated fans form outside Anfield as Liverpool delay kick-off for friendly with Athletic Bilbao after teething problems with new electronic ticketing system
- Liverpool hosted Athletic Bilbao for a pre-season friendly at Anfield on Sunday
- A new Near Field Communication ticketing system in in-place for this season
- Complications with the new system has caused huge queues outside the ground
- With Anfield barely filling up just before kick-off, the game has been delayed
Giant queues outside Anfield and a half-empty Kop have caused Liverpool’s friendly with Athletic Bilbao to be delayed, with a new ticketing system causing chaos.
The Reds are completing their final pre-season push, with games against Bilbao on Saturday and fellow LaLiga side Osasuna on Sunday.
As time ticked down to the 4pm kick-off posts began emerging on social media showing long queues outside Anfield, with frustrated fans concerned they would miss kick-off.
Large queues outside Anfield have caused the game against Athletic Bilbao to be delayed
At 3:54pm the club tweeted: Today’s kick-off has been delayed by 15 minutes. We’ll now get underway at 16:15 BST.’
However, that post was later followed-up by another, saying: ‘A further update to today’s kick-off time, which will now be 16:30 BST.’
The match finally did get underway at the third attempt, with the Reds taking the lead through Diogo Jota just 13 minutes later.
That will have relaxed the frustrated Reds supporters who had to queue outside the ground, as they held their scarves aloft to belt out ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ on the Kop once again.
A large crowd of Reds supporters were stuck outside Anfield with kick-off fast approaching
Videos and images popped up online showing the queues stretching far away from the ground
The glorious sight of fans back in their second homes was on display once the game started
Liverpool have implemented a new Near Field Communication security system for stadium access this season, but fans and staff haven’t quite gotten to grips with it yet.
It requires the Anfield faithful to download a pass into their smart phone’s digital wallet and scan it at the turnstiles.
Confusion at the entrances left the stadium, which could fill 75 per cent of its capacity for the match amid ever-loosening Covid restrictions, looking patchy moments before the players were expected on the pitch.
The queues were winding along way off the stadium’s concourse and out into the streets, and the Reds won’t want the issues repeating when the Premier League kicks-off with a full capacity crowd allowed at Anfield.
Liverpool begin their season with a trip to Carrow Road to face newly promoted Championship champions Norwich in less than a week’s time.