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Sunday, July 11, 2010
FIFA urged to review prices

Soccernet staff

FIFA has been accused of putting money first and pricing out ordinary fans after many matches at the World Cup failed to sell out.

Kevin Miles, the Football Supporters' Federation's director of international affairs, told the Sunday Mirror that FIFA must review the costs of tickets and accommodation before the next World Cup in Brazil.

"Overall, it was a rewarding experience for those lucky enough to be able to afford it," Miles said. "But a World Cup being played out in front of so many empty seats was a cardinal sin. The pricing structure excluded large sections of the local population. They have to learn the lessons from South Africa before the next World Cup in Brazil in four years.

"It will require a different mindset as to how they deal with the tickets and accommodation pricing structure that is fixed at too high a level for many grass-roots fans of the game, especially when you take the tournament to a developing nation.

"FIFA must learn the lessons about pricing quickly. They must ensure that we have far fewer empty seats and more enthusiastic Brazilian fans in the stadia. FIFA need to ensure locals and visitors alike are not deterred by high prices."

Miles, like many others, has reservations about the role of MATCH, the agency which exclusively handles World Cup ticketing and corporate hospitality rights. It has been lambasted for pricing out fans and has said it will use Brazil to make up losses from South Africa.

"It's beyond belief that an organisation that has exclusive rights to sell tickets for a World Cup managed to make a loss. But FIFA needs to look at this whole area again to ensure future tournaments are more fan-friendly."

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