More than 1,000 soccer fans were turned away from two FIFA World Cup qualifying matches at Amsterdam Arena March 28 and April 1 because the tickets were deemed “invalid” by the Netherlands football sanctioning body, the Royal Netherlands Football Association (Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond, a.k.a. KNVB).The KNVB Web site ran a story that said “almost 200 tickets for the match against Macedonia April 1 were blocked because the KNVB was sure they were sold through the black market.”
A Dutch events organizer (who spoke to TicketNews on a condition that he remain anonymous) said not only were those 200 tickets deemed invalid, but in the Netherlands versus Scotland game on March 28, a further 850 tickets had been blocked.
The organizer told TicketNews that the tickets were not “illegal,” but rather deemed invalid by the KNVB, adding that he thinks this was the first occasion that the KNVB confiscated suspect tickets.
“Any ticket that was purchased in a block (e.g., you purchase 10 tickets for yourself and friends, two of your friends are unable to attend and they decide to sell their tickets on E-bay). If these two tickets become known by the Dutch football federation then they will block all 10 tickets that were purchased in the original transaction,” the source said.
When we asked how the KNVB can stop someone from entering a stadium with a re-sold ticket, he said that it’s always the responsibility of the organizing country or team to determine what to do with secondary ticketing. “This is stated on the terms and conditions of the ticket. This subject is sensitive; once you have purchased the ticket it is legally your property and what you wish to do with the ticket after purchase is legally your business. So I’m sure there will be a follow-up on this.”
The KNVB Web site story quoted the chief of the KNVB, Bert van Oostveen: “The KNVB wants that matches in which Holland plays be accessible to a big audience. But because of the black market, where dealers buy tickets on a big scale and then re-sell them for a profit, there is a threat that fans aren’t able to get tickets for Holland’s matches. It’s a drastic approach but we can not tolerate this any longer.”