Tuesday the 2nd of March

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

IT giants urged to tackle World Cup ticket touts

Westminster’s diocesan Chaplain for Sport has urged the world’s IT companies to pool their talents to prevent touts illegally reselling tickets online at extremely exaggerated prices.

His call comes as tickets for the football World Cup have been illicitly advertised for almost 40 times face value on secondary seller websites, according to Which?

The leading consumer rights group claimed that tickets were on sale in March for as much as £5,618 each across five separate sites including StubHub and Ticombo.

A pair of premium Category One tickets for the England v Tunisia match on 18th June were found listed for between £480 and £11,237 despite being advertised for £296 on Fifa’s website, Which? said.

In an effort to cease this illegal and immoral scheme, Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, who is also CEO of the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, suggested that a partnership between sporting authorities and the high-tech hub of the San Francisco Bay Area could prove to be worthwhile.

It could even help Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg “once again be seen as a good guy” if he is able to offer his support on the ticketing issue, after bad publicity over his company’s data collection policies and fake news.

“Mark Zuckerberg is in hot water but he is a genius in communications. How about Fifa inviting him to come up with a technology to prevent illegal resale of tickets?” Mgr Felzmann told The Universe.

“He would once again be seen as a good guy and sport and technology would enhance their partnership,” he continued.

Describing a potential partnership between Fifa and Mr Zuckerberg as a “new interdisciplinary cooperation” and a “challenge to Silicon Valley”, Mgr Felzmann said it would result in “a World Cup for honesty helping the non-mega-rich”.

Fifa has warned fans that it retains exclusive selling rights and any fans heading to Russia risk being denied entry to matches if they show up with passes bought through a third party.

Which? added that fans who bought tickets from sites with consumer protection guarantees should go back to the companies.

Forthcoming Premier League fixtures:

Saturday 5th May

Stoke City v Crystal Palace – 12:30pm
AFC Bournemouth v Swansea City – 3:00pm
Leicester City v West Ham United – 3:00pm
Watford v Newcastle United – 3:00pm
West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur – 3:00pm
Everton v Southampton – 5:30pm

Sunday 6th May

Manchester City v Huddersfield Town – 1:30pm
Arsenal v Burnley – 4:30pm
Chelsea v Liverpool – 4:30pm

Tuesday 8th May

Swansea City v Southampton – 7:45pm

Wednesday 9th May

Chelsea v Huddersfield Town – 7:45pm
Leicester City v Arsenal – 7:45pm
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion – 8:00pm
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United – 8:00pm

Thursday 10th May

West Ham United v Manchester United – 7:45pm

Picture: The offical ball for the forthcoming 2018 football world cup in Russia is presented during the balance press conference of sports good manufacturer adidas AG. (Daniel Karmann/dpa).