Monday, November 28, 2005

News: World Cup Tickets and Bundesliga Review

Ever since the ticket process for the World Cup started it has been a farce. First of all they made a load of tickets available for games where the two teams are not even known, which are of course, non-transferable.

The reason for this was probably to ensure Beckenbauer's wish that lots of Germans get tickets, as someone in Leipzig (for example) is more likely to apply for tickets for the games there regardless of who plays than people outside of Germany. This is probably (just about) fair enough as they are the hosts after all, but still. Then there was the fact that your payment options included transfer from a German bank account or Mastercard. And what if you had a Visa or American Express? Tough. Mastercard are the sponsors after all, and maybe this would increase the take-up of its credit card.

So the first round of tickets was weighed heavily in the favour of the locals and the sponsors, but FIFA have managed to surpass themselves with the next round of ticket sames. According to an article on the Deutsche Welle website, to apply for tickets in the next draw (which started on November 2nd), fans have to pay a booking fee of €5 which is, get this, non-refundable even if your ticket application is unsuccessful.

Which makes it an entry-fee for the ticket lottery, and not a booking fee at all, and coming from FIFA, one of the richest sporting organisations in the world it is, to put it mildly, taking the piss.

It seems completely ridiculous to me that so many tickets have been told before the draw for the competition is made (aside from anything else it guarantees a black market explosion), but on top of that the way the ticket sales have been organised have been nothing short of scandalous. They know fans are desperate for tickets and so they can treat them in a way no other business would dare treat its customers. The World Cup is only every four years, and the next one in Europe probably will not be until well into the 2010's, so they can probably get away with it.

The European Union is probe, probe, probing away, which will probably come to nothing, but might force a re-think for the ticket systems for future FIFA or UEFA competitions.

The Deutsche Welle Article: EU Probes World Cup Ticket Fees.

Meanwhile in the Bundesliga...

Bayern win again as they continue towards their goal of having the championship wrapped up by the winter break. Defeat for Werder Bremen versus Schalke allowed Hamburg to squeeze into second place, six points behind the champions. Local heroes Hertha drew, which leaves them fifth, one point inside the European places.

Round-up from Deutsche Welle: And then there was one....
Results and the Bundesliga Table:


Blogger BerlinBear said...

Agreed, the ticketing is an absolute debacle. The 5 Euro entry fee is nothing though. Get this: in the latest round of ticket-purchasing, you can apply for tickets which were ordered by foreign football associations but not taken up. Noone knows how many there will be. You may not know until 24 hours before the game in question whether or not you've got a ticket. BUT, you have to pay up front, now (again, bank transfer or Mastercard). So, you pay now, find out a day before the game whether you've got a ticket, and if you miss out, the organisers will refund your money 4 - 7 weeks after the end of the tournament. Needless to say, there will be no compensation or interest paid back. In other words, the organisers are using this system to set up a millions of Euro slush-fund which they know for certain they don't need to refund until long after the tournament is over. Nice little earner in the meantime too. It's absolutely criminal and they should be ashamed of themselves.

5:38 pm  
Blogger P. said...

It is an absolute farce... a nice interest free loan for FIFA.

I think the worst thing about this whole situation is that putting so many tickets available before the draw has been made plays completely into the hands of the black market, and means that the true football fans will have to pay through the nose to get to the game.

I don't believe they should sell ANY tickets until the draw has been made...which would solve half of the problems, but I guess that would be too simple.

5:57 pm  

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