FIFA has vowed to solve issues related to ticketing at the forthcoming Women’s World Cup in France after fans were left outraged when they discovered their seats are not grouped together.
The tournament, due to kick off on June 7 at Paris’ Parc des Princes stadium, announced yesterday (Monday) that print-at-home functionality was now live, which brought the seating issue to supporters’ attention.
FIFA initially defended its position, responding on the Women’s World Cup Twitter account: “Dear fans. We have noted some of your comments, re: your tickets. When you placed your order, a message indicating not all seats would be located next to each other did appear, before confirmation of your purchase. Unfortunately we will not be able to modify your order.”
An additional post said: “However, an exception could be made for parents whose seats are not next to the seats of their underage children (18 years old and younger).”
Fans have taken to social media to call out the governing body for the “ridiculous” situation, and have been demanding a change in policy.
One fan said: “Just a heads up that I’m not separating from my wife at a major sporting event on another continent. Fix this.”
Another noted: “It’s actually *more difficult* to randomise group seating than seat people together. @FIFAcom @FIFAWWC you’re going to need to reissue tickets. Call your ticketing vendor and sort this.”
Others compared the move to the men’s tournament, stating a situation like this would unlikely happen. One said: “Why assign seats at all then? It’s going to devolve into some kind of General Admission hybrid mayhem. They should have learned from what happened at the Men’s World Cup. Oh wait. They would never, ever exhibit this kind of idiocy for the men.”
FIFA provided another update several hours later, at which it seemed to backtrack.
“The previous tweets regarding FIFA Women’s World Cup tickets allocation were published without a full understanding of the situation and we apologise for that. The issues were faced by less than 1 per cent of fans requesting tickets for the semi finals and the final,” the governing body said.
“FIFA and the Local Organising Committee are confident the problems will be solved and the fans will be able to enjoy the matches as they envisaged.”
The tournament’s ticketing agent Tick&Live, which is owned by France Billet, a subsidiary of Groupe Fnac Darty, has been contacted by TheTicketingBusiness.com for comment.