MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. The world’s governing football body, FIFA, announced on Tuesday that it filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors in Geneva against Swiss-based viagogo AG over unauthorized ticket resales for matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
"As part of its efforts to protect the fans and prevent unauthorized ticket resales for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, FIFA filed a criminal complaint on June 4, 2018 based on a breach of the law on unfair competition against viagogo AG with the public prosecutor’s office in Geneva," FIFA said in a statement.
"Over the past months, FIFA has received numerous complaints from individuals, consumer protection bodies and other market players over the opaque and deceptive business conduct of viagogo AG," the statement reads.
"FIFA’s ultimate objective in the fight against the secondary ticket market is to prioritise the safety and security of fans and enforce a fair 2018 FIFA World Cup ticketing pricing scheme."
FIFA also reminded all fans worldwide that tickets for the upcoming championship in Russia can be purchased only on the official website of the organization as "FIFA.com/tickets is the only official and legitimate website on which to buy 2018 FIFA World Cup tickets."
"FIFA regards the illicit sale and distribution of tickets as a serious issue and views the security implications of the unauthorized transfer and/or resale of tickets as being of paramount importance," the statement said. "In light of the above, we encourage fans not to purchase tickets from unauthorized platforms/sellers."
Ticket prices for FIFA World Cups, as well as for preceding Confederations Cup tournaments, are usually divided into three categories, while the global football organization visas the price for each category. A special fourth category, which is the cheapest one, was introduced by FIFA in July 2016 and was reserved for residents of host country Russia.
According to FIFA’s ticket price policy, officially announced in July 2016, 3rd category ticket prices range between $105 and $285, 2nd category - $165-$480, and 1st category - $210-$750. Tickets for the opening and final matches of the world championship have a different price policy.
The world’s football organization keeps reiterating that at the request of the Russian authorities, all fans attending matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup need to apply for a Fan-ID - the official identity document issued to fans.
Russia came up for this FIFA World Cup with an innovation, which is the so-called Fan-ID and it is required for all ticketholders. This innovation was successfully tested during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia and earned high marks from the world’s governing football body.
The Fan-ID plays an important security role during the major football tournament in Russia as it grants admittance to the stadiums and also serves as visa for foreign visitors to enter the country.
A Fan-ID holder is allowed to enter the country without having a Russian visa and stay for the duration of the global football tournament. Fan-IDs are obligatory, in addition to purchased tickets, in order to attend matches of the 2018 World Cup tournament in Russia.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off next Thursday with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.