Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

OC ballot for 300,000 FIFA World Cup tickets

300,000 tickets for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ will be distributed after the ballot which closes the third sales period. The drawing of the applications will begin on 31 January 2006 at 10am in the OC offices in Frankfurt-Niederrad, with Senior Vice President Horst R. Schmidt getting the proceedings underway with the first mouse-click. "We have really worked hard with the seating plans in the 12 stadiums," explained Horst R. Schmidt, "and we are very pleased that we will be able to have an extra 50,000 tickets available for the third sales period to add to the original 250,000 which we had estimated."

Some 100,000 of the tickets on offer in the third sales period come from the hospitality programme, and are added to those which were returned by sponsors and national associations as well as by people who had purchased them during the first two sales periods. Further tickets became available as a result of safety buffer zones being freed up and also restricted viewing seats, which are being sold at 40 percent below the regular price. The 300,000 tickets which are about to be distributed cover all four price categories and 63 of the 64 FIFA World Cup games – only the Opening Match was not available in the third sales period.

As was the case with the first two sales periods, a specifically designed computer programme, which has been certified by the Rhineland Technical Inspection Authority (TÜV) will be used. "Our top priority is that every single participant has exactly the same chance," continued Schmidt. "There is no fairer way of distributing the tickets than by ballot." In the third sales period we received some 677,900 applications for 6 million tickets. The legitimacy and openness of the draw procedure will be personally supervised by a ballot official from the Federal State of Hessen.

Successful applicants will be notified by 15 February. Unsuccessful applications who gave e-mail contact addresses will also receive e-mail confirmation. The tickets themselves will be distributed some six-to-eight weeks before the tournament begins.

There will be an extra chance of applying for one of 3,000 quarter-final and semi-final tickets via a special ballot organised by lottery companies and overseen by the OC. Anyone purchasing Lotto, Toto, GlücksSpirale or ODDSET tickets up to and including 4 February 2006 can participate. The same terms and conditions as in the first three sales periods will apply to these special ballot tickets.

OC repeats emphatic warning about illegal Internet ticket sales

The Organising Committee has renewed and emphasised its warning about purchasing tickets for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ via non-official channels. "We are aware of a particular case of fraud which cost over 40,000 Euros. Other examples of fraudulent ticket sales have cost the purchasers between one and ten thousand euros", explained Horst R. Schmidt, who went on to emphasise that "anyone who orders tickets from anywhere other than our Ticketing Center or via www.FIFAworldcup.com must be aware of the risk that they are taking. Fans should realise that they could not only lose a great deal of money, but also might find themselves unable to enter the ground on match day due to the personalised nature of the tickets. All we can do is warn people against conmen, but no matter how often we repeat it, it does not seem to be enough."

Well known Internet auction sites, including eBay, are among the most frequent platforms for the buying and selling of counterfeit tickets and purported ticket confirmations. The classic case of fraud has the "seller" offering tickets on Internet accompanied by fake e-mails from the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ Ticketing Center or written confirmation from sponsors to corroborate the supposed authenticity of the tickets. Should money be paid to the "seller", it often emerges that no tickets can be delivered.

To pursue and clarify cases of fraud, the OC is in constant contact with the relevant German Federal criminal authorities and police services.

Special tickets for wheelchair users and the partially sighted

The OC is also offering a special live-match experience for blind and partially sighted football fans at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™. At each of the 64 FIFA World Cup matches, ten seats equipped with headphones will be available, and trained commentators will report live on the happenings down on the pitch. The OC is thus expanding the range of services it is providing to physically less able fans. At the beginning of the first sales period in February 2005, between 50-100 tickets for each of the 64 FIFA World Cup games were made available to wheelchair users.

The tickets for the partially sighted can be ordered from 15 February to 15 March 2006 inclusive. Those interested can order tickets for themselves and an escort for up to five matches. The order must include the name, address, date of birth, nationality and identity card or passport number of the blind or partially sighted fan as well as the escort. Access authorisation must be corroborated by a copy of a partially sighted permit containing the notice "bl". Those people who do not have a "bl" mark should include the official certification of their partial sight. Entry prices range from 35 – 120 Euros per game which includes the escort. Payment for tickets can be made by credit card (MasterCard) or by direct debit with authorisation.

Tickets can be ordered by telephone, with the number available in publications for the blind. The OC has worked in close collaboration with the "Fanclub Sehhunde e.V." association for blind fans to put this offer together.