Following “numerous complaints” from fans worldwide football’s world governing body has taken action on the eve of the World Cup in Russia.
They regard the issue with the utmost importance and say they want to protect fans and prevent unauthorised ticket resales at the tournament which kicks off next week
“As part of its efforts to protect the fans and prevent unauthorised ticket resales for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, Fifa filed a criminal complaint on 4 June 2018 based on a breach of the law on unfair competition against viagogo AG with the public prosecutor’s office in Geneva,” an official statement read.
“Over the past months, Fifa has received numerous complaints from individuals, consumer protection bodies and other market players over the opaque and deceptive business conduct of viagogo AG.
“Fifa took action after aligning with other stakeholders that have already filed criminal complaints against viagogo in Switzerland due to the company’s unfair business practices.
“Fifa’s ultimate objective in the fight against the secondary ticket market is to prioritise the safety and security of fans and enforce a fair 2018 Fifa World Cup ticketing pricing scheme.”
Fifa also revealed they have worked alongside European counterparts Uefa as they look to stamp out the illegal reselling of tickets.
They added: “Recently, Fifa has held fruitful talks with Uefa in order to coordinate action against unauthorised platforms and established cooperation with the Fédération romande des consommateurs (FRC), the consumer protection association for French-speaking Switzerland, which is a strong advocate against ticket sales conducted through unauthorised sources.”
They also confirmed that any tickets purchased from Viagogo will be cancelled as soon as they are identified.
“Fifa regards the illicit sale and distribution of tickets as a serious issue and views the security implications of the unauthorised transfer and/or resale of tickets as being of paramount importance. In light of the above, we encourage fans not to purchase tickets from unauthorised platforms/sellers.
Tickets purchased via unauthorised distribution channels, including all tickets purchased through viagogo AG, will be cancelled once identified. Fifa reserves the right to refuse entry to the stadium to any holder of such tickets. During the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia, Fifa and local authorities will conduct strict admission checks.”