With 21 days to go before the kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ in Sao Paulo, unscrupulous ticket touts across the world continue to take advantage of fans eagerly attempting to get their hands on match tickets. Increasingly, companies, websites and individuals are offering tickets to unsuspecting fans through unauthorised resells at exorbitant prices.

Therefore, FIFA and MATCH Enforcement, a division of MATCH Services tasked by FIFA with detecting and deterring the unauthorised sale of tickets, are further stepping up their efforts and cooperation with authorities to curb such activities at all levels. It is important to reiterate that the only legitimate source of tickets is www.FIFA.com. No other websites or parties have any rights to legitimately sell tickets for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

As FIFA’s Marketing Director, Thierry Weil explained: “For FIFA it is key to protect fans from the risks of illegal sale of tickets. Over the last few weeks we have unfortunately seen more and more people leaving our ticket centres disappointed as they failed to collect their tickets purchased through unofficial websites. FIFA cancels tickets discovered as illegally sold or resold with the bearers risking not being permitted entry into 2014 FIFA World Cup™ matches.

"Like football, combating the scourge of unauthorised ticket sale requires a dedicated team effort. Besides FIFA, the fans decide where to purchase their tickets, while authorities at all levels and jurisdictions possess the skills and legal tools to efficiently intervene and punish such activities.”

Already since 2012, more than one year before the actual launch of ticket sales, a dedicated team of FIFA and MATCH Enforcement experts began their efforts in the fight against the unauthorised sale of tickets. The sale of tickets is closely supervised, including new techniques used by touts to obtain tickets illegally, to effectively counter them, cancelling tickets and returning them to the system when identified. Every effort is also made to efficiently secure the interfaces in the payment process, while also taking precautionary action to prevent phishing and similar cyber-criminal attacks.

Furthermore, Brazil has a long-standing law, the Fan Statute. Among others, under Article 41 of this statute it is a criminal offence to sell or supply a ticket for more than the face price. The provisions in place in Brazil allow authorities to clamp down on such activities and sanction persons or companies accordingly. FIFA and MATCH Enforcement have consistently been providing information to Brazilian authorities to assist them in their enforcement of this statute and to prosecute those violating the law.

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. If at any stage fans are in any doubt as to the legitimacy of any alleged source of tickets, they can contact the FIFA Ticketing Office at enforcement@match-ag.com.