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FAI issue ticket tout warning for sold-out Portugal clash

Tickets have appeared online at three times their face value.

Ireland fans at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland fans at the Aviva Stadium.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

THE FAI HAVE warned fans against buying tickets for next month’s sold-out World Cup qualifier against Portugal at inflated prices from third-party websites or unauthorised sellers. 

Tickets for the game against a star-studded Portugal squad sold out within an hour of going on general sale this morning, but some have since surfaced online, some priced at three times their face value. The Association say anyone buying a touted ticket risks being denied entry to the game. 

“The FAI would like to thank all of those fans who have bought tickets for the upcoming Fifa World Cup 2022 fixture against Portugal at the Aviva Stadium which is a sell-out”, read a statement this evening. 

“We are aware however that tickets for the match are being offered at inflated prices online and we remind fans who purchase tickets from a third-party website or any unauthorised seller that they risk not receiving a ticket at all or being denied entry with an invalid ticket.” 

Earlier today, Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly wrote to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to query whether recent legislation passed against ticket touting will be applied to the game. The Sale of Tickets Act was enacted on 31 July this year, and bans the resale of tickets to live events, matches and concerts at a price above their face value.

Events must meet two criteria for the law to apply: the venue in which it is held must hold at least 1,000 paying customers, and the event organiser must be of the “reasonable opinion” that the event will be of sufficient demand that it will give rise to the secondary selling of tickets. 

“The Bill has the stated aim of stopping ticket touting and relies on either a venue operator applying for an event to be covered by the legislation to stop that event falling victim to ticket touting”, reads the letter to Varadkar, who serves as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. 

“If the venue operator does not apply, the Bill also affords the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the option to proactively reach out to the operator and have the venue and event covered by the legislation.

“Unfortunately, given ticket exchange and resale companies have tickets for the World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Portugal listed for sale at two and three times their face value, the question must be asked if the operators of the Aviva Stadium, the Football Association of Ireland, or the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, applied for the game to be covered by ticket touting legislation?

“If they did, and tickets are still selling for these excessive prices among secondary sellers, then the legislation has clearly failed and, if they didn’t, then this is a shambolic failure on their behalf.

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“The Tánaiste must come clean with football fans as to whether his legislation is a failure, or if nobody bothered to make an application for the venue and event to be covered by the ticket touting legislation.

“Whatever the case may be, it is Irish football fans who are losing out.”

Ireland cannot qualify for the 2022 World Cup, but can greatly hamper Portugal’s qualification prospects with a win on Thursday, 11 November. 

The game will be the first Irish soccer international to be played before a 51,000 sell-out capacity crowd in two years, since a 1-1 draw with Denmark in a thwarted bid to qualify for Euro 2020. 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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