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Football fans urged to avoid being ripped off over World Cup travel

Football fans are urged to avoid being ripped off when booking trips to the World Cup in Qatar.

Thousands of England and Wales supporters will travel to the Middle East country to attend the tournament, which begins on November 20.

The UK’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), warned fans not to fall victim to fake deals.

It recommended that supporters make bookings which are financially protected by the Atol scheme.

Booking a package trip with an Atol holder ensures people will not get stuck abroad or lose money if a company stops trading.

CAA consumers and markets director Paul Smith said: “Football fans need to know the score before booking to make sure they can enjoy the World Cup in Qatar.

“Nobody wants to score an own goal by not doing their research on their chosen travel firm and losing out as a result.

“Depending on how England and Wales progress, some people might be tempted to make a last-minute booking to Qatar.

“Hopefully, football will be the winner with everyone enjoying a trouble-free trip.”

The CAA recommended paying for trips with a credit card as this offers more protection if something goes wrong.

It also urged fans to obtain travel insurance and beware of hidden costs.

The Government has also issued advice for anyone travelling to Qatar during the tournament.

All visitors must obtain a Hayya Card, which is an identity card.

Those staying for more than 24 hours have to register their accommodation in advance.

Visitors are also warned that they face serious penalties for importing certain goods such as pork products, alcohol, e-cigarettes and “anything that can be perceived as pornography”.