Jonas Elis

This text was originally posted in a slightly different version in European Football Weekends on January 2, 2022

Buying tickets for Süper Lig or Turkish Cup matches as a foreigner is nowadays more difficult than ever. This is due to the mandatory Passolig registration and the need to connect a so called HES-Code with one's Passolig card. We managed to buy tickets almost without problems for all the games we planned to attend in the fifth Turkish cup round which seemed impossible right before departure looking at several blogs and threads on the internet. Please note that we only went to cup matches far from being sold out. An important Süper Lig game might hold other challenges, but the system we got in touch with seems to be constant for all venues and competitions. This is what you need to start doing at least two days before departure:

Please note that the following steps 1 and 2 are described in more detail on many pages on the web. I found this one especially helpful:

1. Create your account at Your correct mobile number will be vital throughout your trip.

2. Apply for a Passolig card. Right after you created your account (see step 1), you find the link to the application at the top right of the front page.

3. Receive your HES-Code (see by filling in the passenger locator form before traveling to Türkiye.

4. Travel to Türkiye.
Important remarks: You won't be able to buy your match-tickets online. This is because Passolig wants you to connect a HES-Code to your account. However, foreigners are not able to do so since the Turkish Health Ministry has to activate a HES-Code to give it the same status as a Turkish citizen's HES-Code. You will have to go to the ticket office before each game and bring your HES-Code for the staff to process it which gets further explained in the following step:

5. Go to the stadium at least one hour before the game. We prepared a sheet in google translated Turkish with our Passolig details (e-mail, phone number, ID-number and password), paper copies of our HES-Codes and handed this set of documents into the box offices along with our IDs. You will be asked if you “have Passolig” and your answer will be: "yes, but my card has not arrived yet. I have an account, the details are listed on the sheet I gave you". Passolig allows you to get a match day pass in case you lost your physical card, forgot it or it was not delivered by the time you arrived in Türkiye. If you applied for a Passolig Card 15 days before your first game in Türkiye, it might have arrived at the venue chosen by you. If you pick it up or not doesn't really matter if you will only be in Türkiye for a short stay. At the box office, you might be asked if you want to pay cash or with Passolig credit. We would recommend to top up your Passolig Card in your account with enough money for the ticket you want to purchase even if it is not refundable. Box offices will mostly prefer cash payment. In the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, however, they struggled to hold enough bills for change. Cash payment worked everywhere in the end, but the less clubs are organized, the longer takes the whole process. For us it took between 5 (Besiktas) and 25 (Fatih Karagümrük) minutes to get our tickets.

6. In the end, you will receive a small paper card where your ticket and personal data are saved on. They all look the same and information about your block, row and seat remain invisible. Make sure to ask for this information at the box office to be able to find your right entrance.

This is it. Staff at the box offices was always very helpful and we always met someone to speak enough English. However, police and security are relentless if you don't apply with all the rules. If you don't have a Passolig ticket, you most likely won't enter. Don't expect answers by the clubs or the TFF by e-mail if you have any questions. The atmosphere in Turkish football can be amazing, but the whole system is not very friendly to football lovers and tourists in particular. We went to Kasimpasa, Galatasaray, Fatih Karagümrük Women (no Passolig needed), Fatih Karagümrük (Olympic Stadium), Fenerbahce and Besiktas this week. We met people who went to Antalyaspor and Trabzonspor who seemed to have gone through the same process.

Jonas Elis

This text was originally posted in a slightly different version in European Football Weekends on August 30, 2022

Visiting football games in Montenegro as a solo traveller went far better than expected. This post lists some websites and strategies I found helpul.

1. seems very accurate for bus connections at least within the country. I wasn't really sure about connections into Albania for example. You can reach any stadium that appears on the Montenegro Football Association website by bus, train and a maximum 6 km footwalk (quick guess). Some stops do not appear on the driver's board, but are stopped at on request. Bus drivers can let you out anywhere you want, just show them the location. If not, Taxis are very cheap within a 20 Km range.

2. -> "takmicenja" gives you all the fixtures and venues. Make sure to avoid the English version website since it is not being updated regularly. Go to the original site instead and use Google translation if necessary. It is easy to navigate without knowing the language. Regional associations have a standard design website (see for example ) and offer details for all games, but 3.CFL didn't start when I was there.

3. For those who care: the Kadetska Liga is an under 15 male league and they chase them over a regular UEFA size field for 2x45 minutes. It is fun to watch with the matches being very emotional and players in a development stage. You always find their parents around the field watching with high expectations...especially towards the referee. They often play during the week, sometimes in great stadiums like Petrovac (see Kadetska Liga can be a great option if you can't find a game during the week or on your way.

4. Kadetska and Omladinski Liga fixtures can change until one day before kick-off, being more stable on working days. Women's league was not even released when I was there, 1., 2. CFL showed stable exact fixtures 5 days before the first kick-off of a matchday.

5. At Nikšić and Kotor (Arsenal Tikvat as home team against B. Podgorica) in the 1.CFL, there was no food, no drinks at the grounds. People streamed out at HT to quickly swallow a beer or grab a coffee. Snacks could be taken into the stadium. At Nikšić, they didn't sell tickets, just let you in, but closed the only door after 10 minutes. 2 € to enter Kotor stadium at the gate. You could leave and enter the ground at any time. So get ready for everything, but no catering.

In general, Montenegro is a nice place to visit for groundhopping since the football system is well organized and taken serious. Having no food and drinks at the games isn't fun, but maybe that's why the crowd was so interested in every scene of the match.