FIFA sued for ticket irregularities at Confed Cup
Brazilian prosecutors want FIFA and local World Cup organizers
to pay nearly $2 million in damages for alleged ticket
irregularities at a Confederations Cup venue.
Prosecutors in the northeastern state of Pernambuco say
organizers did not provide the services that fans paid for at the
Arena Pernambuco during the warm-up tournament this year,
especially in relation to seating location.
FIFA’s agent in tickets sales, MATCH Services, has also been
included in Friday’s court action.
Many fans complained that their seats were not as good as shown
when they made the purchases, and that some ticket orders forced
people to sit in opposite sides of the stadium. The unhappy fans
included some who bought the most expensive tickets for the three
matches played at the Arena Pernambuco in June.
Prosecutors said they took action after interviewing some of the
fans who complained about their tickets, with many saying they
thought they would be sitting near the field but ended up sitting
high up in the stands. Some allegedly had their views
Prosecutors said they hope the lawsuit will help prevent the
same problem from happening again during next year’s World Cup, a
tournament for which FIFA has already sold nearly 1.2 million
tickets. Nearly 3.3 million tickets in total will be sold for
football’s showcase event next year.
”The action is aimed at guaranteeing that consumers receive
exactly what they pay for,” prosecutor Guilherme Lapenda said in a
FIFA and MATCH this month had already been fined more than
$200,000 each by consumer rights officials because of the problems
at the Arena Pernambuco.
Fans said they turned to prosecutors because FIFA and MATCH did
nothing after hearing their complaints.
Messages seeking comment sent to FIFA, MATCH and local World Cup
organizers were not immediately returned on Sunday.
For World Cup tickets, FIFA tells fans in advance that they
”cannot choose specific seats,” only pick between four tickets
categories based on stadium location. It also advises that it
cannot guarantee that fans will sit next to each other.
Prosecutors said the $2 million should be paid to a local
consumers’ rights group and will not go directly to fans, although
those who prove they received bad tickets can later seek
compensation from FIFA and MATCH.
Tickets for the 16-match tournament cost between $60 to $220,
although hospitality packages bought through MATCH cost
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