Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets have been pulled from a New Zealand charity auction in aid of school children because it broke tournament rules surrounding ticket sales.
Travel agency Hello World donated a NZ$40,000 (£20,830/€23,000/$25,400) travel package, including two tickets to the Rugby World Cup finals in Japan, to the Sir Ray Avery Foundation.
The charity auctioned the package to raise money for the production of its Amigo supplemented food bars, which are given to children in low-socioeconomic schools in New Zealand.
According to Stuff, the Rugby World Cup trip had been viewed by 15,000 people over the course of three days, with bids reaching upwards of NZ$14,5000.
Avery was instructed to close down the auction by the All Black Tours, which has the exclusive rights to manage All Blacks supporters travel, stating that the marketing of donated tickets is prohibited.
David Caldwell, managing director of All Blacks Tours said, according to Stuff, the rules have been enforced on behalf of the Rugby World Cup.
He said no charity was allowed to use Rugby World Cup tickets for a promotion. He said: “Rugby World Cup have global sponsors who pay tens of millions of dollars to be associated with the tournament. They have to protect the rights of their sponsors and partners.”
Avery said in response to the axing of the travel package: “The rights to internationally market one of our best sporting assets have been assigned to a foreign-owned travel company and I wonder if a New Zealand travel company would have closed down the auction knowing that the proceeds of the auction would produce around 40,000 Amigo nutrition bars to feed hungry kids in low decile schools in New Zealand.”
The terms and conditions of ticketing for the Rugby World Cup, which is to be held between September 20 and November 2, states that “ticket holders are strictly prohibited from… making it available for sale or purchase to any third party (including, without limitation, putting tickets on auction or internet auction), regardless of nature or method thereof.”