If you are looking to purchase tickets for an upcoming Turkish football match (Super Lig, Champions League, Europa League, First Lig or Turkish Cup), you will need to be aware of a few things prior to making your purchase.
In order to watch a football game in Turkey, you will need to go through the following steps.
1. Purchase a Passolig card
2. Register an account with Passo (online e-ticketing system in Turkey)
3. Add funds to your Passolig card
4. Purchase a ticket using your Passolig card (or link the e-ticket to your Passolig ID if buying through a re-seller/third party)
5. Attend the game with your Passolig card or Passo Mobile App (available for iOS & Android)
For the record;
Passolig card – buys and holds your tickets
Passo – online e-ticket purchasing/assigning system in Turkey
Due to excessive hooliganism in the past, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) have scrapped the paper ticket method and adopted an electronic ticketing system called Passo in order to curtail the acts of violence and hooliganism during games at stadiums. To purchase a ticket and attend a game, one needs a Passolig card and a Passo account. Once you apply for and purchase a Passolig card, you will need to create a Passo account. Then, you load money on to your card and purchase tickets with it. Read on for a better breakdown of the system and how it works.
In previous years, it was typical to see thousands of “fans” flock to the stadiums while bringing knives, sticks, pipes, flares, and whatever else you can imagine in order to provoke opposing fans in attendance. This would often lead to bloody brawls which ultimately ruined the experience of a live football game for many around the country. By using a paper ticket which was void of any personal/identifying information, the culprits would often get away with their crime.
Fast forward several years, and despite protests from club fans, Passolig has been introduced and successfully implemented. Attendance numbers continue to increase, overall, year after year and violence during games has decreased dramatically. This is due to the simple, but effective system which Passolig is based on.
In short, a Passolig card is a modified pre-paid credit/debit card (MasterCard) which contains your personal information (full name, passport number, mobile phone number, photo, date of birth). Just like every other pre-paid card, you load money onto it and use it to purchase tickets for whichever game(s) you would like to attend. This card is personalized for each and every person who applies for one and is used to identify and give you entrance in to the stadium. In addition to this, the card allows clubs to know more about their fans as well as creating an additional source of revenue.
While the card is not free, it is relatively cheap. The cost varies depending on which club you choose to associate the card with. Though it may sound strange, the prices are based on the size of the club. In other words, a card linked with The Big Three (GS, FB, BJK) will cost slightly more than a card associated with a smaller club.
The cost, therefore, is broken down into several categories with GS, FB, BJK cards being the most expensive. At the time of writing, the price categories are;
1) 70 Turkish Lira (TL)
2) 83 TL
3) 92 TL
4) 92.5 TL
5) 97 TL
6) 99 TL
7) 129 TL
This fee is paid annually (once per year) online. If the fee is not paid, the card is deactivated and, thus, you will not be able to purchase tickets.
The application process is done online through the Passolig website.
You will be asked to provide your personal information such as full name, passport number and an active mobile/cell phone number.
The mobile number does not have to be Turkish but you must have access to it since they will send you an SMS/text message containing a code which you will use to complete your registration. You will need to use the same mobile number to log in to your account in order to add funds and renew/extend your card’s validity annually. You will also need to upload a photo of your face during the registration process.
As a foreign national (ie. not a resident of Turkey), you may only pick up your card at the stadium of the club you selected during the application process.
Once you have completed your online application for a Passolig card, your information is sent to the “system”, for lack of a better word. This is useful because it allows you to attend games even if you do not have your Passolig card on you in case you forgot it while rushing to get to the game.
If you do not have your card on you, you may enter the stadium by purchasing a Single Entry Pass Card for 15 Turkish Lira. This one-time use only card is sold at the stadium on the day of the game. They will ask you to provide/confirm the details you used to register for the Passolig card.
If you have your Passolig card, but the turnstile/machine does not read your card, simply ask the staff member present to provide you with assistance. They will issue you a Single Entry Pass Card free of charge.
Another way you can attend games, if you do not have your card or prefer to go without it, is by using the Passolig Mobile App which is available for iOS & Android.
Once you’ve completed your Passolig registration, download the Mobile App and enter your login information. The app contains the ticket(s) you’ve purchased and will allow you to enter stadium by simply scanning the code the App produces at the turnstile/machine at the stadium. This works similarly to airline apps when you board a plane.
While the process might seem complicated, it is rather straightforward.
1. Apply for a Passolig card online.
2. Complete your registration online by entering the code sent to the mobile number you provided.
3. Choose the type of card you would like.
4. Upload a photo of yourself.
5. Pay for the Passolig card (the annual fee).
6. Done! Your card will be available for pickup at the stadium* of the club you’ve chosen to support. Even if you don’t pick it up, it becomes activated immediately upon payment.
7a. Top up your Passolig Card with money so you can purchase tickets.
7b. Purchase your ticket(s) via the Passo website.
8. Attend the game with your Passolig card, your Passolig Mobile App or by purchasing a single-entry Pass Card (if you don’t have your Passolig card on you).
*Average delivery time of the card is 15 days.
Note: You can still purchase tickets and attend games without having the card physically. Simply, buy the ticket(s) using your Passolig card number and attend the games with the Passo mobile app on your smartphone. This is the best way forward.
Even if you don’t pick up your card, you can always purchase tickets and attend games so long as you pay the annual fee for the card to keep it activated.
And remember, no one can pick up your Passolig card at the stadium except you since they would ask you to provide the passport you used to register, therefore, you don’t have to worry about it falling into the hands of someone else.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you are ready to go and watch your favourite Turkish football team!
Step 1. Begin the application process by going to the Passolig website
Step 2. Enter the required information
Step 3. Enter/verify the code that was sent to your mobile number
Step 4. Select the team’s logo you wish to see on your card
Step 5. Confirm your choice
Step 6. Upload a photograph of your face
Step 7. Select the delivery location and review the fees
Step 8. Pay for your Passolig card