FIFA World Cup 2018 tickets are being listed for as much as £5,618.80 each on secondary ticketing sites, and might not even guarantee fans entry to the game, according to a Which? investigation.
Which? research found five secondary ticketing websites listing World Cup 2018 tickets for sale in the UK, despite FIFA stating on its website that tickets for all FIFA World Cup Russia matches should be sold to fans directly and exclusively via FIFA.com. The website also states that no other websites or parties have any rights to legitimately sell tickets for the event.
Two tickets for the best available seat (category 1) to attend the Tunisia vs England match on Monday June 18 were listed for sale between £480.20 and a staggering £11,237.60. This represents a 3792% increase on the face value of the tickets which were available for $420 (£296.35) from the FIFA website.
The investigation found tickets and hospitality packages listed on StubHub, Ticombo, Ticketbis, Sports Events 365 and Primesport.
Which? is now warning fans tempted to buy from secondary sites that they run the risk of not only paying over the odds, but of not getting to their event on time or potentially not being admitted to the stadium at all.
FIFA has warned it is entitled to void any ticket purchased via unauthorised distribution channels. FIFA has also warned that during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, FIFA and local authorities will be conducting strict admission checks.
To access any of the Russian stadiums, fans will also need Fan ID, a document that all the spectators of 2018 FIFA World Cup matches must have to get access to stadiums.
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said:
“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.
“If you don’t want to risk watching the World Cup from the sidelines, you should only buy from the official FIFA reselling website.”
Advice if you’ve bought FIFA World Cup 2018 tickets from unofficial sources:
No other websites or parties have any rights to legitimately sell tickets for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, according to information on the official FIFA World Cup 2018 website. So, you’re at risk of not being accepted into the stadium.
Some specialist secondary sites and fan-to-fan exchanges have consumer protection guarantees, so go back to the company that you bought the tickets from if you have already purchased from them.
The second sales phase for tickets closed on April 3, but fans still have the chance to get tickets on a first come first served basis along with any fan resale tickets, in the last minute sales phase which runs from April 18 to July 15 on the FIFA website.
Notes to editors:
In March 2018, Which? researched the secondary tickets websites that were selling tickets to the FIFA World Cup.
If you choose to buy from a secondary ticketing site, you run the risk of not getting your event tickets in time and not being admitted into the stadium. More information is available here.
Ticket prices for World Cup matches are available on the FIFA World Cup website – http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/organisation/ticketing/ticket-prices.html
Rights of reply
A StubHub spokesperson said: “StubHub fully complies with applicable laws; therefore, we do not allow the resale of World Cup tickets on Stubhub.co.uk. Unfortunately, World Cup tickets were, due to a technical error, viewable from (but not purchasable on) our UK site for a limited period but this was promptly fixed. There are currently no tickets available for the World Cup on our UK site.”
All purchases on StubHub are backed by the StubHub FanProtect Guarantee. This means that StubHub will make sure tickets are delivered on-time and are valid, or they will find comparable or better replacement tickets, or at the very least offer a full refund.
Who are we? Ticombo is an online ticket market, where organizers, resellers and fans can buy/sell tickets on easy, fair and secure terms. We facilitate contact between buyers and sellers as a peer-to-peer platform.
How do we protect our customers? · Information regarding our sellers is available to the buyer once a purchase is concluded. If an organizer or buyer have issues about an event, listing or any other claim, they can flag the event or the listing on our website where after we will investigate the matter accordingly. For your information, there has been no flagging of any event or listing whatsoever regarding the World Cup. Furthermore, all sales are protected by our Ticprotect Program, a 100% money-back guarantee for delivery delays or other ticket related issues. It is for all parties involved entirely risk-free to trade via Ticombo.
How do we respond to your investigation? · We want to establish clearly the fact that 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. Thus we do not acknowledge the legitimacy of the accusations put forward.
A FIFA spokesperson said:
FIFA regards the illicit sale 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. For hospitality tickets the online official source is: https://hospitality.fifa.com/hospitality2018.
FIFA in cooperation with local authorities, including consumer protection agencies in numerous countries, continues to make efforts to identify and curb unauthorised ticket sales. As a result, a number of unauthorised online ticket sales, offered via websites and on social media originating from various countries, have been stopped during the past months.
Furthermore, we have taken concrete legal action against a number of platforms including viagogo, while encouraging fans not to purchase tickets from unauthorised sources. FIFA is entitled to void any ticket purchased via unauthorised distribution channels, including all tickets purchased through viagogo AG. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, FIFA and local authorities will also conduct strict admission checks.