Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Thousands of World Cup tickets unsold: FIFA proposes fans disposes

(By Razib Ahmed)

As World Cup Football draws near the excitement is only increasing around the world. Many people in Asia are sad that they could not buy tickets of world cup matches and now when I saw the report titled, ' Thousands of World Cup tickets unsold; hotels complain' in a website naturally I felt sympathetic for those fans around the world. Let me quote from the report here:
" The newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said a total of 70,000 tickets bought by the Swiss marketing company ISE for 170 million euros (215 million dollars) had not been sold.
The World Cup Organizing Committee has urged ISE to return unsold tickets so they can be sold on the open market, averting empty rows of seats at the World Cup stadiums.
The newspaper said ISE had been left sitting on 13,000-15,000 VIP tickets for Germany's three group stage matches, beginning with the game against Costa Rica in Munich on June 9.
The hospitality tickets, which include meals and drinks, were offered by ISE at prices ranging from 2,199 to 3,299 euros."

A world cup ticket for 3,299 euros- wow, FIFA and ISE bosses must be out of their mind. Unfortunately, they are not out of their mind. Their plan was make a good profit by selling the image of World Cup Football. There is nothing wrong in doing business as whether you like it or not only because of the generous support of the sponsors we can enjoy World Cup Football both in the Stadium and through our television sets. However, I think that this time FIFA has gone too far. Football is the most popular and richest sport in the world simply because millions of ordinary people around the world are crazy for it. There is no justification to reserve some tickets only for rich people.

FIFA officials did not only try to make high profit from ticket sales but also they wanted to make very high profit through hotel bookings. I am quoting here from the same report:
"Meanwhile, FIFA came under fire Wednesday from Berlin's hoteliers after cancelling thousands of World Cup bookings.

FIFA made a block booking for 8,000 rooms in the capital, but cancelled the reservations for 5,000 of them this week, leaving hotels to scramble for customers.

'Some major mistakes have been made,' said Berlin's tourism director Hanns Peter Nerger, adding room occupancy during the World Cup threated to drop to only 60 per cent, well below the normal summer levels.

Nerger said FIFA had marketed the rooms through its own marketing agency WCAS at prices that were far too high.

The average rate for a room in a Berlin four star hotel is 127 euros - less than half that for similar accommodation in London, Milan or Paris.

'It didn't pay off to try and use the World Cup to increase room prices,' Nerger said."

Poor the hotel owners. They have fallen victims of FIFA's excessive greed. For the fans who are traveling to Berlin, it is a sad and painful experience. I do not know why FIFA is so eager to turn Football into a rich men's sport. It's completely ok to bargain to the end of the world about TV rights, billboard ads, and jerseys but it is simply not acceptable to mess up with ticket prices and hotel bookings. If FIFA does not learn its lesson from this fiasco then it will only suffer greater disaster in future.

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Anonymous said...

Before giving you thanks for your excellent article I should console the hotel owners and the FIfa. The hotel reservation policy of Fifa is really a poor thinking which is not expected from an orgnisation like Fifa.
FIfa is the highest organisation of world football. SO fifa should make their ticket distribution policy more universal so that people form all over the world can make their dream ture getting a ticket of the world cup.
I agree with you that in Asia there are many more interested persons who did not get a single ticket. On the other hand, a large number of tickets remain unsold. SO Fifa should think twice on the ticket distribution policy for the promotiom of football world wide.
Thank you for your well-thought article.