Organisers of the on-going Rugby World Cup 2019 have warned fans that they will be denied stadium entry if tickets have been purchased through unofficial channels.

The event, which just completed its first week of competition, said the number of incidences are “relatively small” but “likely to increase” as the tournament goes on, with remaining pool matches set to determine which teams go through to the knock-out stages.

Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee chief executive Akira Shimazu said: “With such incredible demand for tickets, people may be tempted to buy through unofficial sources. I can’t stress strongly enough that it’s just not worth the risk. It would be absolutely heart-breaking for any fan to be denied stadium entry due to an issue with tickets purchased through unofficial sources.”

There are still tickets available on the website, as well as through the official resale page, which are available until two days prior to match kick-off. Earlier this month, it was reported that 96 per cent of the 1.8 million available tickets had been sold.

Tickets are also still available through the official supporter tours and hospitality page, and fans can check the validity of an intended match ticket source via its ‘buy official’ page.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont added: “Rugby World Cup is the must-see global event of 2019 and it is our priority to ensure that the experience of fans is memorable for all the right reasons. It is therefore important that all fans planning to attend the tournament are informed that they face being refused entry unless they purchase their tickets from official sources.”

Last week, resale ticketing firm Viagogo called the Rugby World Cup’s resale policy is “unfair and disingenuous” after it was found to be listing tickets against the tournament’s rules.

Organisers of the Japan event have listed Viagogo as an “unauthorised entity,” along with StubHub, SeatGeek, LiveRugbyTickets.co.uk and Rugby Ticket Service. The official Rugby World Cup website states that no tickets bought through Viagogo and other websites “shall be deemed valid or usable under any circumstances.”

Image: RWC 2019