New laws have come in today to crack down on the illegal touting of tickets for this summer’s World Cup in Germany.
The legislation makes it a criminal offence for anyone in England and Wales to re-sell tickets for any game in the tournament.
However, it doesn’t apply to touting on the internet. A bill going through parliament is due to tackle this separately. Meanwhile the Home Office says eBay has agreed to remove any tickets being touted through its site.
Initially, it was only illegal to tout tickets for England’s first round group matches as the laws did not extend to the latter stages of the tournament.
Home Office minister Paul Goggins said the new measure extended the definition of a match for which it is an offence to tout tickets.
‘Ticket touting legislation covering football matches is a necessary public order measure based on the importance of ensuring the segregation of supporters.’
The new move will also apply to any future Fifa or Uefa tournaments in which the English or the Welsh national team, or a senior club side from England or Wales, is eligible to participate.
Malcolm Clark, chairman of the Football Supporters Federation, told BBC Radio Five Live: ‘In these games in the World Cup, the competing nations only get 8 per cent each of the tickets – that means five-sixths of them are going to somebody else and too many of those people don’t actually want to go to the game and that’s what gives rise to the black market.’