Football fans are being warned to be wary of online ticketing sites charging as much as £5,618 for a World Cup ticket.
Consumer group Which? has revealed that secondary ticketing sites are charging almost 40 times the face value of tickets for the FIFA World Cup 2018, due to take place in Russia in June.
Two tickets for the Tunisia vs England match on Monday 18 June were listed for sale with prices ranging from £480.20 to an eye-watering £11,237.60 for the pair. It’s a staggering 3,792% increase on the face value of the tickets, which are priced at £296.35 on the FIFA website.
Alex Neill, managing direct at Which?, says: “Football fans need to be aware that if they buy a World Cup ticket from an unofficial source, they risk paying inflated prices and potentially not getting into the game at all.”
FIFA says all World Cup match tickets should be sold to fans directly and exclusively through its website and that no other websites or parties have any rights to legitimately sell tickets for the tournament.
But buyers are offloading the tickets through secondary ticketing sites such as StubHub, Ticombo, Ticketbis, Sports Events 365 and Primesport. These sites allow people to re-sell their tickets, choosing the price they sell at.
Which? says fans tempted to buy from secondary sites run the risk of not getting to their event on time or potentially not being admitted to the stadium, as well as paying over the odds.
This is because FIFA is entitled to void any ticket which has been purchased through an unauthorised distribution channel – ticketholders need a Fan ID document to get access to Russian stadiums for any match.
FIFA has taken legal action against a number of sites and is encouraging fans not to purchase tickets from unauthorised sources.
It says: “FIFA regards the illicit sales and distribution of tickets as a very serious issue and it has been reminding all football fans that FIFA.com/tickets is the only official and legitimate website on which to buy 2018 FIFA World Cup tickets.”
Fans who have already purchased tickets through secondary sites should contact the company through which they purchased them.
StubHub says: “We do not allow the resale of World Cup tickets on Stubhub. Unfortunately, World Cup tickets were, due to a technical error, viewable (but not purchasable) on our UK site for a limited period, but this was promptly fixed.”Ticombo says: “Neither we nor consumers are in anyway whatsoever in violation with any legislation by trading tickets. Ticombo respects the unilateral legitimacy of the free market and movement of goods and pride in delivering on promise. Thus, if FIFA has a problem with fans wishing to sell their ticket to a third party, it has a problem not with Ticombo, but with the free market itself. We do not acknowledge the legitimacy of the accusations put forward.”