The World Cup Ticket Scandal
The Observer newspaper has an excellent piece on Sunday that reveals the true scandal behind FIFA’s allocation of World Cup tickets. What it shows is that the majority of tickets go to sponsors, wealthy individuals and the politically connected rather than the ordinary fans like you and me. This news might nor be shocking, but take a look at the numbers. Of the 3.07 million total tickets available, here is how where they go:
1,112,000 – global public sale by internet ballot (36.22 per cent)
592,000 – competing national associations (19.28 per cent – increased after lobbying from 16 per cent)
490,000 – sponsors (15 ‘Partners’ and six ‘Suppliers’) (16 per cent)
347,000 – hospitality (11.3 per cent)
276,000 – the ‘German football family’ (German FA) (9 per cent)
191,000 – the ‘international football family’ (the 175 Fifa member countries who did not qualify) (6.2 per cent)
63,000 – television broadcasters (2 per cent)
Sports fans are seeing this far too often these days. As the money involved with major events grow, the average fan gets increasingly squeezed out. The worst part of all of this to me is the thought that some of the sponsor and international football family tickets are undoubtedly not going to be used.
With the number of true fans who are willing to pay out their nose to see their team play, the very real probability that there will be empty seats is simply shameful. The thought that corporate sponsors and FIFA cronies will be able to take advantage of the ticket demand to gouge ordinary fans is equally appalling,
Perhaps I am being naive, but I have always thought of the World Cup as being a global event for everyone, not just an expensive vacation junket for the rich and connected. Sadly, this is the direction it is headed.