Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

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

OC to open ticket portal on 27 March

The 2006 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee Germany are to open an internet ticket portal for fans on March 27 at www.FIFAworldcup.com. Fans will be able to return match tickets or transfer these to other fans by completing an online form in the "Customer Self Service" area. If, for example, a ticket holder wishes to relinquish a ticket, he can return the ticket for resale by the OC without stating any reason. The ticket will then be offered under "Resale" at the Ticket Shop provided that no tickets remain of the OC's original allocation for the game in question. Where the ticket is successfully resold, the seller shall receive the original ticket price paid in full.

Original ticket holders can thus return match tickets for resale free of charge. Returned tickets will be offered to the new purchaser in the "Resale Shop" at a price 15 per cent, up to a maximum of 15 Euros, above the present face value of the ticket. Horst R. Schmidt: "The additional services involved with the ticket portal raise costs of around 700,000 Euros. The portal offers interested fans another chance to purchase a match ticket and represents an additional sales channel. We have therefore passed on the additional costs to the purchaser with the agreement of consumer associations."

Tickets may also be transferred, subject to providing an explanation to the OC. "Tickets may only be transferred to nominated persons in exceptional circumstances due to reasons of fairness. Persons receiving transferred tickets are at an advantage to those still applying for match tickets via official channels on account of the enormous worldwide demand. To a certain extent, this person is jumping ahead of those still waiting in a virtual queue on the internet," says Schmidt.

The OC stipulates 7 reasons which will generally be recognised for a ticket transfer:

· Transfer within the family or a legally recognised cohabitation

· Illness of the purchaser/visitor

· Purchaser/visitor can not obtain a visa for Germany

· Purchaser/visitor is subject to a ban on travelling

· Act of God (e.g. political unrest, epidemic, natural disaster)

· Death (of the purchaser/visitor or in the family of the purchaser/visitor)

· Other case of hardship

In certain cases, the OC may request appropriate documentation. "Decisions on each individual case will be like a balancing act. Of course, we would like to make decisions in favour of the fans, but for well-documented security reasons we also have to exercise caution. On the whole, the most transfers will be within the family or for reasons of illness. We are quite happy to accommodate our customers on those grounds," says Horst R. Schmidt. A fee of 10 Euros will be payable by the applicant for ticket transfers.

In conclusion, Horst R. Schmidt adds: "The ticket portal is a platform which combats the black market while also respecting the high security requirements. There is now absolutely no reason to sell or purchase tickets via other channels. Other internet auction portals merely serve to make a profit for certain individuals. We want to put an end to extortionate prices for genuine and honest fans by depriving black market traders of any opportunity."

The portal will be active within two windows: from 27 March to 9 April and from 1 May until two days before each individual game. The portal's activity will be interrupted to enable the precise allocation of seats in the stadia and the printing of tickets.

Police and the Organising Committee warn against FIFA World Cup™ ticket fraud

Police are launching a campaign to inform fans of the latest ticket scams ahead of the FIFA World Cup™ via a new web site www.wm2006polizei-service.de

With the FIFA World Cup™ approaching, more and more fraudsters are using major internet portals to sell supposed FIFA World Cup™ tickets, meaning some genuine fans could be in for an unpleasant surprise. Scams often consist of "vendors" offering tickets over the internet, supported by forged e-mails from the 2006 FIFA World Cup Ticketing Center or confirmation letters from sponsors. When the "purchaser" pays, however, it becomes apparent that no tickets will be delivered or that the ticket confirmation is forged or invalid. Police Crime Prevention and the 2006 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee Germany (OC) are therefore issuing an urgent warning not to purchase match tickets for the FIFA World Cup™ via unofficial channels. The new FIFA World Cup™ Police Crime Prevention web site, www.wm2006polizei-service.de, provides comprehensive information on these scams at the click of a mouse, along with additional precautionary advice. Visitors to the web site can also take part in an interactive shoot-out to learn more about security ahead of the tournament. Find hidden treasure chests along the way, and you could also win some exciting prizes.

FIFA World Cup™ ticket fraud has already cost fans almost 100,000 Euros in Germany alone, with further sharp increases in fraud levels expected. In one individual case, where tickets were offered over the internet from a supposed sponsor's allocation, fraudsters pocketed over 50,000 Euros. Purchasers entered into "transfer agreements" to transfer the tickets into their names at a later date. Meanwhile, the perpetrators requested that funds were transferred to pre-opened banks accounts and made off with the money. According to Police investigations, none of the perpetrators had made any ticket orders or applications and the tickets offered did not come from a sponsor's allocation.

"We want to show the red card to these fraudulent practices," says Erwin Hetger, Chairman of Police Crime Prevention project management and Federal Police President of Baden-Württemberg. "The Police therefore strongly advise that tickets are only purchased via official channels. If you are desperate to watch the games live, do not go looking for a so-called "bargain". Otherwise, instead of enjoying the game, you could be mourning you lost money." Senior OC vice-president Horst R. Schmidt issued his own stern warning: "Those who do not order tickets via our Ticketing Center or the internet platform www.FIFAworldcup.com should be aware that they are taking an enormous risk. The fans should know that they face either losing their money or being refused entry to the stadium on match day because of the personal details on the ticket."

To prevent fans from purchasing a forged or invalid ticket, the Police Crime Prevention has published a list of important advice on its new FIFA World CupTM web site www.wm2006polizei-service.de. In addition, the OC is constantly collaborating with Police and crime investigation agencies. Some of the most important tips for fans are listed below:

· Only purchase tickets for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ from www.FIFAworldcup.com or and official "Stadium Ticket Center". For further information, visit www.FIFAworldcup.com

· Avoid other offers of tickets which you can not confirm as genuine (e.g. online offers and ticket agencies on the internet). Do not encourage black market trading. Tickets purchased via these methods do not entitle you to enter the stadium.

· Only use tickets on which your name is printed.

· Take your identity card to the game with you to enable security services to conduct a swift check upon entry to the stadium where necessary.

At www.wm2006polizei-service.de, you can also read further security tips for the FIFA World Cup™. The site has comprehensive information on subjects such as pickpocketing, forged money and violent crime. You can also download leaflets and posters. If you need some shooting practice, you can also take part in an interactive game featuring important advice on security-conscious behaviour. And visitors to the site can take part in an online treasure hunt at any time of day or night: A treasure chest will be hidden on one of the pages until the FIFA World Cup™ Final on 9 July 2006. This will be opened once every week. The first person to click on the open treasure chest will be rewarded with exciting prizes.