Tackling World Cup ticket fraud

25 September 2009

With excitement growing ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, tickets have been in high demand worldwide, leading to illegal ticket sales, and Fifa is working closely with international authorities to crack down on the practice.

“While genuine tickets are sold online exclusively via the official website Fifa.com, unscrupulous individuals are taking advantage of the great appeal of this event by trying to use the internet to sell tickets they do not possess,” Fifa said in a statement this week.

Fifa and its ticket handling partner, Match, have warned consumers about unauthorised ticket sales and the risk of purchasing fake tickets, which would result in buyers’ not being able to access the stadium.

“Fifa would like to recall that one of the measures taken to prevent forgery will be to print the official match tickets only a few weeks before the event in South Africa in 2010.”

Illegal web-based resellers

One example of the cooperation between Fifa and the authorities is the support received from the Police Central e-Crime Unit of New Scotland Yard in the United Kingdom in the fight against unauthorised ticket resellers operating via the web.

As part of a major operation orchestrated by the Police Central e-Crime Unit targeting all unauthorised online football ticket resellers, New Scotland Yard is shutting down websites selling unauthorised World Cup match tickets in violation of UK anti-touting laws.

“Our work with New Scotland Yard is yet another example that we are taking serious steps to stop unauthorised entities from selling 2010 Fifa World Cup tickets,” said Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke.

“We applaud the work of New Scotland Yard in its efforts to ensure that our common goal to target and shut down illegitimate and unauthorised ticket sellers is achieved. We simply cannot accept that true fans are being cheated in this way.”

Participating tour operators

Many unauthorised operators are exploiting the popularity of the World Cup to lure unsuspecting fans across the world into purchasing illegitimate or unauthorised tickets and ticket-inclusive travel packages.

“Fans who are set to travel to South Africa can obtain tickets via Fifa.com, through inclusive travel packages from participating tour operators selected by Fifa, and by buying Fifa-approved hospitality packages,” says Fifa.

“Match Hospitality is the only entity which can offer guaranteed match tickets coupled with stadium hospitality benefits.”

Comprehensive and up-to-date information regarding match tickets as well as the list of the appointed tour operators and Match Hospitality sales agents can be found on Fifa.com.

SAinfo reporter

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