FIFA warns fans about re-sold World Cup tickets

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ZURICH (AP) - FIFA has told fans buying World Cup tickets from unauthorized sellers that they could be barred from stadiums.

Three weeks from the opening match, FIFA said Thursday that it “cancels tickets discovered as illegally sold or re-sold with the bearers risking not being permitted entry.”

FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil said some fans have already been affected.

“Over the last few weeks we have unfortunately seen more and more people leaving our ticket centers disappointed as they failed to collect their tickets purchased through unofficial websites,” Weil said in a statement.

FIFA said its website is the “only legitimate source” for tickets, including a re-sale section for buyers unable to attend.

Football’s governing body did not identify “companies, websites and individuals” it said was “offering tickets to unsuspecting fans through unauthorized resells at exorbitant prices.”

The Stubhub website was offering tickets made available by buyers priced from $2,300 for the Brazil-Croatia game on June 12 in Sao Paulo. Viagogo’s cheapest offer was for $1,149.

FIFA said it is a crime in Brazil “to sell or supply a ticket for more than the face price,” and it has provided information to prosecuting authorities.

“The efforts are not limited to Brazil but applied on an international scale in engagement with local authorities in relevant jurisdictions and in particular in close collaboration with consumer protection authorities, which have far-reaching and efficient legal resources,” FIFA said.

Almost 3 million tickets were made available for the 64 matches. Adding seats for guests and media, the total World Cup stadium capacity is expected to exceed 3.3 million.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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