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Last Updated: Friday, 3 June, 2005, 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK
Which? claims World Cup fans' win
World Cup trophy
Fifa's World Cup ticketing policy has aroused fury among some fans
Football fans who bought tickets in the first sales run for the 2006 World Cup in Germany will be reimbursed for any bank charges incurred, it is claimed.

Tickets bought in the first batch of sales had to be paid for by MasterCard or a German bank account - or euro bank transfer, costing UK fans up to 35.

After a complaint by Which? to the EU, fans buying in the second Fifa ticket phase could pay in their own currency.

Now Which? says Fifa will repay fans who incurred admin cost in phase one.

Fifa told BBC News it has still to make a final decision on repayment of fees to fans who bought tickets in the first phase of ticket applications.

However consumer rights body Which? said confirmation of the compensation plans had been received from the European Commission, and from fans who had been contacted by Fifa.

Competition laws

"Today's decision by Fifa is fantastic news for fans going to the World Cup next year," said Phil Evans of Which?.

He said they would now withdraw their complaint to the EU's Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

Which? had complained that fans buying tickets in the first phase were forced to have a German bank account, use a Mastercard credit card, or incur costs by making an international bank transfer in euros to tournament organisers.

They claimed the deal between World Cup organiser and governing body Fifa, the German Football Federation and Mastercard breached European competition law.

'Last minute goals'

After Fifa said European fans buying tickets in the second application phase could make a bank transfer in their own currency, Which? asked what it intended to do for fans who had already bought tickets in phase one.

Supporters who purchased in the first tranche of match sales will now receive compensation if they had to pay a charge when they bought for their tickets, Which? says.

Referring to Liverpool's recent Champions League final comeback from 0-3 down to AC Milan, Mr Evans said fans had now scored "three last minute goals".

"It means fans will have easier payment systems, bank accounts in local currencies for non-Eurozone countries, and now a compensation package for fans who have already bought tickets."

World Cup ticket sale row erupts
08 Mar 05 |  Business

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