WITHOUT even a simple announcement, all of the 10,945 tickets provided for Costa Rica’s soccer games in the 2006 World Cup in Germany – starting with the inaugural match against Germany – have been sold, the daily Al Día reported this week.
FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, stipulates that the associations distributing the tickets should publicize the time, price and categories of the tickets being sold, Al Día reported. In addition, the sale should be done in five stages to assure a fair and open process. The Costa Rican Soccer Federation (FEDEFUTBOL), which received the tickets from FIFA for distribution in this country, followed none of these guidelines, Al Día said.
“It was not necessary to promote the product, because the demand was much more than the offer,” the federation told the daily in an e-mail. “The federation began to receive requests since the (Costa Rican National) Selection classified (for the World Cup) and increased after the lottery (in which Costa Rica matched with Germany for the opening game). All of those interested sent e-mails or faxes and the requests were attended to according to the date they were received.”
Despite FIFA’s stipulation that the tickets are “personal,” most seem to have been bought up by travel agencies, meaning Costa Ricans must now go through intermediaries to see their national team play in the world’s largest and most important soccer tournament.
FEDEFUTBOL has requested 5,000 more tickets, Al Día reported, but has yet to receive a response. Meanwhile, the federation informed the daily that there are already many people on a waiting list for any more tickets that might be made available.