LONDON: When FIFA, in November 2011, extended its contracts with Byrom/Match to the next two World Cups, it did so because of confidence in the companies’ policing expertise writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

However loopholes exist –  although chairman Jaime Byrom, speaking in London, expressed full confidence in the companies’ ability to protect the interests of both commercial clients and FIFA.

Any private individual who buys a World Cup ticket through the only authorised platform, the FIFA website, finds his/her name printed on that ticket.

His/her responsibility extends across all tickets purchased though some, obviously, are bought to share among family and friends.

Printed on the ticket is the price category.

However, tickets sold within hospitality packages do not carry a printed price.

It was put to Byrom that this was an invitation for unscrupulous individuals to cash in, particular in tickets for a high-demand match.

Value disparity

He rejected this suggestion on the grounds that the price of the hospitality package was always beyond the potential ‘street value’ potential of any single ticket.

Clearly, proper delivery and handling of tickets depends on the integrity of all the individuals working within the system.

It was also suggested to Byrom that hospitality tickets should not be issued weeks in advance of the match but only in the hospitality premises within the stadium perimeter on the day of the game.

He rejected this on the grounds that corporate and hospitality clients felt a need to ‘hold’ in advance the entire product which they had purchased.

However this conflicts with the workings of the system – designed by Match – which is used for accredited journalists.

Those approved to access the stadium press tribune may collect their ticket only on the day of the game or, sometimes, the day before.

It was suggested to Byrom that the introduction of a similar system for hospitality clients would protect the credibility of their tickets and the system itself.

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