Secondary ticketing sites charging almost FORTY times face value for invalid World Cup tickets
FIFA World Cup 2018 tickets are being listed for as much as over Sh 800,000 (£5,618.80) each on secondary ticketing sites, and might not even guarantee fans entry to the game, according to a Which? investigation.
The consumer website 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 Sh 69,000 (£480.20) and a staggering Sh 1.6M (£11,237.60).
This represents a 3792% increase on the face value of the tickets which were available for Sh 60, 000 or $420 to (Sh 42,000 or £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, of Which? 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."
According to information on the official FIFA World Cup 2018 website, no other websites or parties have rights to legitimately sell tickets for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This means you may be 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.