Fifa to do ticketing for 2010

2006-03-05 14:36
Zurich - Fifa president Sepp Blatter says his organization should take over ticketing arrangements for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Blatter said in an interview published on Sunday it would have been better if soccer's world governing body had organized ticket sales for the 2006 World Cup, rather than host country Germany, after criticizing strict German controls.

"It would probably have been better if we had taken over the ticket sales. The Germans have chosen a system that I don't understand at all," Blatter told the weekly NZZ am Sonntag.

Tickets are embedded with microchips and issued to individuals, who will face recognition scanners at the stadiums' turnstiles. Blatter thinks the system is too intricate, but organizers say it is for security reasons.

The 3.3 million tickets will be personalized, creating the threat of long queues at the stadiums with organizers planning checks if the person with the ticket is the person on the ticket. The idea is to eliminate stolen or counterfeit tickets, as well as keeping ticket brokers or others from inflating the price.

"I don't know how many meetings we've had about it. We're just not making any progress with the German Football Association," Blatter said. "I don't understand it. I distanced myself from it from the start, but in the end I'm guilty anyway. In South Africa 2010 we'll take over the ticketing again."

A lawsuit has been filed in Frankfurt by one ticket holder who bought his on eBay. World Cup organizers, who have warned that sales on Internet sites could turn out to be fraudulent, have refused to put his name on the ticket, making it unusable.

"In Germany they have to really try if they want to recreate what happened in 2002 in South Korea or in 1998 in France," Blatter added. "They have to prove that the World Cup will be as good as the expectations."

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