Fifa has reminded fans in the past week that it’s the only official and legitimate website on which to buy 2018 Fifa World Cup tickets.
This follows it filing a criminal complaint against secondary ticketing site Viagogo for alleged ‘opaque and deceptive business conduct’, based on a breach of the law on unfair competition.
Fifa reiterated that fans who buy through unofficial platforms, including Viagogo, for World Cup games in Russia face being denied entry to stadiums.
It has stated that tickets obtained from any other source will be automatically cancelled once identified, and that the ticket holder will not be allowed access to the stadium or eligible for any refund or other compensation from Fifa.
Fifa has also said it reserves the right to refuse entry to the stadium to any holder of such tickets and will be conducting strict admission checks.
- Read our full investigation for more information on what to do if you’ve already purchased your World Cup tickets from an unauthorised secondary ticketing site.
- Can I claim a refund? Follow our tips to try to claim a refund from a secondary ticketing company.
Unauthorised tickets at inflated prices
A Which? investigation in April found invalid ‘Category 1’ World Cup tickets to the first England match against Tunisia being sold for as much as £11,000 a pair.
The price for the same tickets was listed to fans on Fifa for £296.35.
When readers of our investigation were asked in a poll* if they were still tempted to buy World Cup tickets from a secondary ticketing site not authorised to sell them, 72% said that they would.
Which? managing director of home products and services, Alex Neill, said: ‘We have repeatedly exposed secondary ticketing websites, including Viagogo, for playing fast and loose with the rules, so it’s good to see Fifa taking action to try to stop fans getting ripped off.
‘Football fans need to be aware that if they buy a World Cup ticket from an unofficial source, they risk paying inflated prices and potentially not getting into the game at all.
‘If you don’t want to risk watching the World Cup from the sidelines, you should only buy from the official Fifa reselling website.’
Getting official tickets
On 7 June, Fifa confirmed that 2,403,116 tickets had been allocated to football fans all around the world since sales started in September 2017.
Most have gone to Russian fans (871,797), followed by fans from the USA (88,825), Brazil (72,512). Fans from England picked up 32,362 of the tickets.
Barney Leach from London purchased tickets to Argentina vs Nigeria and Serbia vs Brazil for £80 per ticket from the official Fifa website.
When asked why he chose to buy tickets from the site, he said: ‘We bought early to make sure we got tickets that fit into our schedule, we didn’t care who we saw.
‘It’s nice that it is official and I have bought tournament tickets like this in the past. It feels more secure.’
When asked if he would have looked at secondary ticketing sites if he hadn’t have been successful, Mr Leach said: ‘I probably would have looked but I imagine they would have been a major rip off.’
If you’re still looking for official tickets
Fans will be able to resell match tickets on the official Fifa resale platform at any point throughout the tournament, so fans are encouraged to check regularly for availability.
Due to the possibility of tickets being continuously resold through the platform, tickets for specific matches which weren’t previously available might be listed for sale later.
A traffic light system on the site will give fans an indication about ticket availability.
- If you’re looking to watch the action from the sofa this year, make sure your TV is match-fit ahead of the World Cup 2018 kick-off.
*201 people responded to our reader poll, which asked ‘Are you still tempted to buy your 2018 World Cup ticket from a secondary ticketing site not authorised to sell them?’