FIFA just can’t stop hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. With just over two weeks to go until the start of the Women’s World Cup in France, it appears that some fans who had booked tickets at the same time are not going to get them next to one another! Families and friends heading to the tournament face being split up.
How on earth has this happened? FIFA has been wilfully taking payments for tickets since the first packages were made available in October, raking in the cash without noticing a huge flaw in its system.
Rather than admitting fault and owning up to their monumental error, FIFA have attempted to worm their way out of it with all the diplomacy of a fox in a chicken shed. A statement on the official Women’s World Cup Twitter account read:
“Dear fans. We have noted some of your comments, re: your tickets. When you placed your order, a message indicating not all seats would be located next to each other did appear, before confirmation of your purchase. Unfortunately, we will not be able to modify your order.”
Sorry FIFA, but this is not normal – even if you did put a disclaimer in the ordering process. If you attend the theatre and have booked tickets at the same time with the people you’re going with, you don’t expect to have strangers sat between you and the rest of your party.
FIFA pretty much admitted their mistake in a follow up tweet, but still did not apologise, when it dawned on them that children could find themselves sat alone. The follow up tweet read:
“However, an exception could be made for parents whose seats are not next to the seats of their underage children (18 years old and younger).”
So, an exception “could” be made, but what sort of chaos will this cause if people are then being asked to swap seats to allow children to be sat with their parents? Anyone for a game of musical chairs?
There have already been documented cases of the shambles that FIFA are inflicting on the fans attending the tournament. One supporter purchased five tickets for each of the semi-finals and final back in October, only to find that they had been given seats in rows 1, 16 and 17 of block 429 and two in row 17 of block 30. This was meant to be the Champions package.
Another supporter has reported buying tickets for the semi-finals and final for a party of eight, including children aged six to 10, only to be handed one seat in row 12, one in row 14, one in row 17 and five in row 15 – but only three next to each other.
FIFA continually bang on about raising the profile of Women’s football throughout the world, but this massive error will not help matters. Through their continuing hopelessness they have done more harm than good.
Not only have they let down supporters, but this is sure to have a huge negative impact on how people view Women’s football and its organisation.