Fifa vows to tackle empty seats at Brazil World Cup
FIFA yesterday vowed to keep empty seats to a “strict minimum” at the next World Cup.
This year’s London Olympics and European Championships in Poland and Ukraine were dogged by no-shows in arenas that were meant to be sold out.
Fifa said it was impossible to eradicate the problem, but it was confident it would have systems in place at Brazil 2014 to avoid similar embarrassment.
Speaking at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge yesterday, marketing director Thierry Weil said: “Empty seats is always a huge topic. We are implementing new initiatives, we are implementing new resale platforms.
“There will always be no-shows in the ticketing world, people who, last minute, will not come to the stadium for certain reasons. But we will do our maximum to reduce that to a strict minimum.
“We are concerned by no shows, because it does not look good and it especially does not look good if you announce to the world that you have no tickets, then you see on TV that you have a lot of empty seats.”
Weil confirmed Fifa were revamping the official resale website they used at the last World Cup, something which would allow tickets to be reallocated as late as the day of a game.
But one of the biggest complaints from the Olympics was the no show of event sponsors, leading to large blocks of empty seats in highly visible locations.
Weil said commercial partners would have to provide a list of names of individual attendees “two or three days in advance, so they cannot just say the people will come and then nobody comes”.
He was confident the new system would be up and running in time for next summer’s Confederations Cup and vowed Fifa would do everything possible to make ticket prices “extremely fair”. “We try to have this World Cup open to everybody, in Brazil, and around the world,” he added, confirming the precise pricing structure would be announced on 8 November.
Weil defended the format of the tournament, which will see teams travel all around Brazil, something that could prove expensive for travelling fans. He also vowed the country would be ready to host the tournament, pointing out every major sporting event had its own problems to overcome.
“At certain stages, there will be some wake-up calls,” he said. “At certain stages, there will be some delays. At certain stages, there will be negative things from different people. But Brazil will be ready.”
England manager Roy Hodgson last month warned about the climate in Brazil during what will be their winter, claiming there could be snow in the south and extreme heat and mosquitos in the north.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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