FIFA in World Cup seat pledge

10 October 2012 12:17

FIFA has vowed to keep empty seats to a "strict minimum" at the next World Cup.

This year's London Olympics and European Championships in Poland and Ukraine were both dogged by no-shows in arenas that were meant to be sold out.

FIFA has admitted it is impossible to eradicate the problem completely but are confident they will have systems in place at Brazil 2014 to avoid similar embarrassment.

Speaking at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge, FIFA's marketing director Thierry Weil said: "Empty seats is always a huge topic.

"We are implementing new initiatives, we are implementing new resale platforms.

"There will always be no-shows - as we call it - in the ticketing world, people who, last minute, will not come to the stadium for certain reasons. But we will do our maximum to reduce that to a strict minimum."

He added: "We are concerned by no-shows, that is clear. Because it does not look good and it especially does not look good if you announce to the world that you have no tickets, then you see on TV that you have a lot of empty seats."

Weil confirmed FIFA were revamping the official resale website they used at the last World Cup, something which would allow tickets to be reallocated as late as the day of a game - helped by the fact no physical ticket will be issued until the matchday in any event.

One of the biggest complaints from the Olympics was the no-show of event sponsors, leading to large blocks of empty seats in highly-visible locations. Weil said commercial partners would have to provide a list of names of individual attendees "two or three days in advance, so they cannot just say the people will come and then nobody comes".

"The tickets will only be handed over the day of the game to the people, so you can reallocate tickets to different people, even in the sponsor families," he added.

Source: PA