MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. The world’s governing football body, FIFA, announced on Friday that it welcomed a decision of a German court to issue a preliminary injunction against Swiss-based viagogo AG prohibiting the company from offering tickets for matches of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
"The Hamburg District Court has issued a preliminary injunction against Switzerland-based viagogo AG, banning the company from offering tickets for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ via its viagogo.de online ticket marketplace prior to FIFA officially allocating such tickets and/or to viagogo AG physically possessing them," a statement from the FIFA said.
The FIFA stressed that any violation of the court’s order would entail either a considerable fine or a prison term.
"Any violation of the injunction by the company would be punishable by a fine of up to 250,000 euros or imprisonment for up to six months," the statement said.
The FIFA said the court established that viagogo AG had been trying to convince potential buyers of having in possession "valid and deliverable tickets for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, although this was not the case."
"The court deemed this behaviour to be misleading and in violation of the German Unfair Competition Act (UWG). It also found that offering (overpriced) tickets that were not yet available constituted a "deliberate obstruction" to FIFA with regard to its ticket sales," the statement said adding that tickets for matches of the 2018 World Cup can be purchased exclusively on FIFA’s designated website.
Early this week FIFA announced that over 3 million ticket requests have been submitted both from domestic and international football fans after the second phase of ticket sales for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was launched on December 5, 2017.
The Phase 2 of ticket sales for the quadrennial world football championship was divided into two periods, just like during the preceding Phase 1.
The first period of the Phase 2 ticket sales was launched on December 5 and would last until January 31, 2018. December 5 was also the date for the resumption of ticket sales in the Category 4, which was especially introduced by FIFA for this upcoming world football championship and is reserved exclusively for Russian residents.
The second period of Phase 2 dubbed as the "First-come, first served" will open on March 13 and provide sales services until its closure on April 3.
The FIFA reported in early December that after both periods of Phase 1 of ticket sales a total of 742,760 tickets were allocated.
Phase 3, dubbed as the "Last Minute Sales," will run from April 18 up until the final match day of the competition and the remaining tickets will be available for purchase on a first-come first-serve basis.
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.