The General Secretary of FIFA, Jerome Valcke, has admitted ticket sales for the 2010 World Cup have been a shambles, and changes will be made for the 2014 event.
And ticket prices will be cut in an effort to fill stadiums in South Africa this summer. According to the Telegraph, Valcke also admitted that running ticket sales through agency Match had not been successful:
He also acknowledged that Fifa may have made mistakes in the way it had run ticketing and travel arrangements. Fifa granted agency Match exclusive rights to sell travel and ticket packages for the 2010 and 2014 tournaments, but its near-monopoly on hotel rooms has seen supporters asked to pay high prices. Valcke predicted that Match was unlikely to make a profit from South Africa.
“We have good lessons to learn from 2010 and they will help us in 2014. For the World Cup 2010 we will have to sell the tickets to fans direct, we will think about setting up Fifa ticketing centres around the world.”
The Telegraph doesn’t mention that the original decision to award Match the exclusive rights generated considerable controversy. It just so happens that Match is part-owned by Swiss company Infront Sports & Media, whose president and CEO is Philippe Blatter — yep, nephew of one Sepp Blatter.
Last month, Andrew Jennings reported on Match — who stood to earn as much as $342m from the contract — and their expensive surcharges that have raised prices for everyone.
Travel agents have to pay MATCH $30,000 just to be allowed to buy tickets to package with rooms and sometimes flights. Then they have to pay up to 35% surcharge on every ticket MATCH sells them, boosting a ticket with a face value of $160 to as much $244. So MATCH can take up to $84 from each fan.
The company has also established an iron grip on rooms. Hotel chains and Bed & Breakfast want business from fans and have signed up with MATCH – and must pay them 30% of their gross charges – so driving up prices again.
Any thoughts on this, Sepp or Philippe?