May 23 – FIFA has promised to do “doing everything it can” to ensure families can sit together at next month’s Women’s World Cup in France following reports that some group ticket buyers have been split after receiving their allocation.
Fans – couples, families with young children, friends -– have been split up in some instances in separate rows and even different sections, causing a backlash among those who will travel to France this summer.
FIFA says the problem will affect “less than 1% of fans” and only those who requested tickets for the semi-finals and final. But reports say this is not the case with some fans insisting the problem is affecting group matches and other knock-out games too.
In a new statement, FIFA said matches that were in high demand meant “the only tickets remaining were for individual seats”.
“Of the 1.3 million tickets on sale for the tournament it is estimated that not having side-by-side seats will affect only a very small number of fans.
“FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) are continuing to work towards finding the best solution for all fans attending the Women’s World Cup and, in particular, are doing everything they can to ensure that families will always be seated together at each and every match.”
The Free Lionesses, a fanzine run by Britain’s Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), says the issue “threatens to spoil a keenly anticipated summer of football.”
“Our experience of the large numbers of fans who’ve reported groups and even pairs of tickets bought months in advance being located in different areas of the stadium suggests that the problem is greater than the ‘less than 1% of fans requesting tickets for the semi-final and final’ that FIFA has claimed,” said spokesperson Deborah Dilworth.
“To find out just 18 days before the tournament kicks off that friends and families who have bought tickets face the prospect of not being seated together, and especially that parents might not be able to sit with their children, threatens to spoil a keenly-anticipated summer of football.”
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