Organisers reaction when it emerged some tickets booked together are not next to one another left a lot to be desired
Following the still simmering fury over Uefas choice of Baku for the Europa League final and its corporate-heavy ticket policy for both its showpiece mens competitions, Fifa has given us an outstanding proverbial hold my beer moment.
Just 18 days before hosts France open the Womens World Cup against South Korea at Parc des Princes a number of fans have found that tickets purchased at the same time are not next to one another. Families and friends heading to the tournament face being split up.
Its hard to understand how this happened. Fifa has been taking payments for tickets since the first packages were made available in October. It has raked in the cash and seemingly not noticed this gaping hole in its system. With tickets ready to be downloaded and printed from Monday, the penny, or bomb, dropped for the fans at least.
Rather than owning up to the clearly monumental error, Fifa attempted to doublespeak its way out of it. With an almost flippancy, the official Womens World Cup Twitter account responded with: Dear fans. We have noted some of your comments, re: your tickets. When you placed your order, a message indicating not all seats would be located next to each other did appear, before confirmation of your purchase. Unfortunately we will not be able to modify your order.
Yes. Thats right. This is normal. We should have expected it. When you book cinema tickets its common to have five friendly strangers seated between you and your other half. Welcome to the new world, where every booking is a wild ride into the unknown. You cant beat the look on a dates face when you hand them a theatre ticket and go and sit five rows further forward at least you didnt book a restricted view seat.
For Fifa, though, there was only one small hint of a flaw in its master plan; that children could find themselves seated alone. Its follow-up tweet stated: However, an exception could be made for parents whose seats are not next to the seats of their underage children (18 years old and younger).
Thats right an exception could be made. What absolute heroes. Luckily Ive not had to take advantage of its generous rule-bending as my son has been awarded a seat next to his dad Ill be in the press box but that I had to log in and check my five-year-old wouldnt potentially be clambering around the stands alone is damning enough.