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World Cup Tickets Absurd

The "personalization" of the tickets for the football World Cup is a mockery. In the guise of a measure for "enhancing security" thousands of fans have been registered, exchange boards dealing in addresses and tickets have been wasting money, energy and – above all – an indefinite amount of time without any visible beneficial effects for the fans. On the contrary! We have collected all the "news from FIFAbsurdistan" here for you:

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22 June 06: Germany's government has to deal with the question "what for"
"In the opinion of the Government, what sense do the RFID-chips on the World Cup tickets make if the information being stored on these chips is only read out in a very limited way so that an investigation of a person's identity is not really taking place?" Silke Stokar from the Green Party asked, together with Volker Beck and Christian Ströbele in a so-called "kleine Anfrage", i.e. minor parliamentary query to the German Federal Government. This will have to be answered by the government in the next few weeks, together with the question which consequences will result from the failed use of RFID at the World Cup matches.

19 June 06: FIFA surrenders to black market
German newspaper Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung reports that Willi Behr (head of ticketing) has finally accepted that there is no German law forbidding selling things you have bought. Security personnel have been officially told to let anybody into the stadium if they have a valid ticket. So the whole collection and registration of data beforehand was a complete waste – now it is up to German courts to determine whether the whole thing hasn't been illegal in the first place (FoeBuD is supporting a lawsuit regarding the matter).

18 June 06: Male thief passes turnstiles as woman
"The silliest thief at the World Cup" a man was called who visited the match Brasilia vs. Australia on June 18th in Munich. Right before the stadium gates he stole a woman's handbag which contained her ticket. When proudly sitting down on her seat, the culprit was soon taken into custody. The woman's husband was sitting right next to him and secretly called the police. The great big security system consisting of RFID-chips, personalized tickets, registered ticket owner, readers, visual checks, control personal, CCTV and what have you was not able to see that a strange change of sex had taken place.(Source: e.g. Stern Online)

18 June 06: Stop the black market? – You wish.
It was one the express goals of all the collecting of data regarding the World Cup tickets that, with the help of the RFID-chips, black marketing should be nipped in the bud. Well, perhaps they had better told the big FIFA officials as well. For it so happened that Ishmael Bhamjee, member of the FIFA executive committee (!) and president of the football association of Botswana was caught in the act of selling tickets for the World Cup on the black market for three times their original price. He was not caught by the surveillance machinery, by the way, but by a British journalist. (Source: German TV station ARD (among others))

14 June 06: Handwriting is enough, the chip is not working anyway.
A football fan wrote the following to the FoeBuD (we anonymized the news by shortening the name and also made a few formal corrections in the wording of the query, the content however was not changed):
"P. was given two tickets by his friend. He exchanged them for two new tickets with his own name on them. He had to pay 20 Euro for this to the DFB (German football association). With those tickets (personalized to him and his brother) he went to the stadium. But the system could not recognize the tickets. So he hurries to the "emergency ticket center" to ask what is going wrong. The employee, overworked, tinkered with the PC, saying "The system is not that quick..." over and over again. Finally he gave two new blank cards to P., with the names of the ticket owners written on them by the employee himself. With those tickets P. went back to the stadium again... No checks, no control, nothing. The green light turned on at the gates and they could walk in.
Well - what exactly did P. pay 20 Euro for at all? By the way: this is a mark-up of almost 30%..."

11 June 06: No security for the fans
400 British teenagers had to stay out. The entrance system of the stadium denied them entrance because of the tickets. They were forged. The "security tokens" on the tickets do not help the fans at all – if the counterfeits are well done, they will only be recognized at the gates when the costs for the trip has been already paid and the frustration will be immense. The pupils have been fooled by a counterfeiter on the black market. FIFA president Blatter and Tony Blair himself called in and finally cards for the quarter final were given to the teenagers by FIFA. (Well, we thought all the games had been sold out by then?!)

28 May 06: 300,000 VIP tickets not personalized
"We did not know this," the people responsible for marketing of the World Cup tickets at the Swiss marketing agency ISE claimed. ISE was authorized ticket handler for FIFA. But seemingly nobody had told them that ticket owners had to be registered (imagine the innocent blink of an eye). Because of that 300,000 VIPs (celebreties and business customers) had been given tickets without having to give away their data. And it is said that it would be not reasonable to do this afterwards. Strange – any normal football fan had been picking up this information while ordering or while listening to the news before the World Cup. But, okay, ticket security tokens have been only known since 2003... And ISE is nothing more than FIFA's favourite marketing agency being employed by FIFA over and over again, and being criticized by BBC reporter Andrew Jennings because of corruption among FIFA's executives.

2006-07-26 16:29
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