Agents face World Cup ticket dilemma

By
|
7 December 2001

Travel agents will be locked out of offering full packages to next year's soccer World Cup in Japan and Korea.

A new arrangement for the first World Cup to be held in Asia will see ticketing being handled exclusively by a UK-based ticketing bureau established by FIFA, soccer's world governing body.

A spokesman for the Korea National Tourism Organisation (KNTO) said the only involvement travel agencies will have in selling World Cup packages will be with arranging flights and accommodation for clients who have secured tickets.

For the first time, FIFA is selling both Venue Specific Tickets and Team Specific Tickets, the latter enabling supporters to follow the national team of their choice through the competition.

Tickets for the matches are already on sale with a final sales phase scheduled to start on January 16 next year.

"There is no official wholesaler for the World Cup," said the KNTO. "The bottom line is that travel agents cannot obtain tickets. They, like everybody else, must apply through the ticketing bureau, but will be restricted to four tickets per household."

FIFA president Joseph Blatter said for the first time in the history of the World Cup, FIFA has complete control over ticket sales and would "offer all football fans throughout the world equal and fair access to tickets".

WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN
• The 2002 World Cup will be held in 10 cities in Korea and Japan from May 31-June 30.
• 32 matches will be held in each of the host countries.
• The Seoul World Cup stadium will be the largest soccer-only stadium in Asia.
• 350,000 tourists, including FIFA officials, are expected to visit Korea to attend World Cup
• Ticket information: www.fifaworldcup.com
• Accommodation information: www.worldinn.com or www.fifahotels.com

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