Football’s coming home and, for some fans, it’s costing an absolute fortune to get here.
England fans trying to get tickets for today’s round of 16 clash with Colombia, in Moscow, are having to pay up to five times face value to see Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions take on Radamel Falcao and co.
The news comes after FIFA filed a criminal complaint against ticketing website Viagogo, last month and informed fans that tickets purchased through the website would not be valid.
Today I saw few #England fans in central Moscow, despite all the hype over team’s ‘best chance of reaching the semifinal’ since 1990. Touts are selling tickets for Colombia match at £500+ pic.twitter.com/9lC5Vyu7IK
— Sarah Rainsford (@sarahrainsford) July 2, 2018
However, despite the actions of world football’s governing body, tickets for England’s clash with Colombia can still be found on the website, with category three tickets – the cheapest category available to non-Russians – being sold for upwards of £350 when the official price from FIFA is £83.
Luke Massie, CEO and founder of Vibe Tickets says fans have to stop promoters putting tickets in the hands of resellers in the first place or this problem, where fans constantly lose out, will never end.
This is a big match, but selling tickets for five times their original price is unacceptable. Last month we saw that FIFA had cancelled World Cup tickets sold on Viagogo claiming that it wanted to protect fans. Clearly that effort has failed. FIFA can’t hide from the fact that thousands of tickets have been sold on resale sites, and that begs the question of how they got there in the first place.
Across the whole of the ticket industry, fans are being ripped off by event organisers and promoters who deliberately sell tickets in bulk to secondary sites. If we can legislate against this happening in the first place – by forcing promoters to publish the names of every buyer given more than a normal fan’s allocation of four tickets – we’ll avoid the problem all together.
England fan in Moscow said he’d seen touts openly selling plenty of tickets (laid out on a table!) for tonight’s game at £1000+. https://t.co/3hhBxPztmj
— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) July 3, 2018
Category one tickets, with an original price set at £177, are being resold for £513 on Viagogo, while another website, ticketbazaar.co.uk, had tickets for today’s match at as high as £870 for category one and £487 for category three.
Some touts have also been using social media to sell tickets at extortionate rates, as England fans scramble to watch football come home (it definitely is coming home), with prices similarly inflated.
FIFA have warned fans who have travelled to Russia for the tournament that any tickets bought through an unauthorised seller will be cancelled, but a loophole in the Fan ID system, which also acts as a visa to enter Russia, means fans can use any ticket reference number to register regardless of whether they have a valid ticket or not.
A Fifa spokesman said: “Fifa regards the illicit sale and distribution of tickets as a serious issue and in co-operation with local authorities, including consumer protection agencies in numerous countries, strives to identify and curb unauthorised ticket sales.
“As a result, a number of unauthorised online ticket sale offers via websites and on social media in various countries have been removed in recent months.”
England face Colombia at the Otkritie Arena at 7pm, tonight, with an opportunity to reach their first World Cup quarter-final since 2006 hanging in the balance, with the winner meeting either Sweden or Switzerland in the next round.