After initially shrugging off consumer complaints of separated seats from single orders, FIFA told reporters Tuesday that it is attempting to resolve the issue on the eve of the Women’s World Cup in France, according to USA Today.
“There’s a holding position at the moment,” FIFA spokesman Will Shand told the publication. “It’s part of the… resolving the issues of different customers and those group orders.”
Numerous fans cried foul last week when tickets were released for the tournament, as many found orders purchased at the same time were filled with tickets split among several rows, or even sections, of the stadium. FIFA first said it would be unable to modify orders, save for fans who would be separated from minors attending with them. It also stressed that the issue was due to a third party vendor involved with the process, and that the “issues were faced by less than 1% of fans requesting tickets for the semi finals and final.”
Now, fans with separated seats have been told to contact organizers so that their tickets can be reallocated prior to their arrival at the venues, which run throughout France beginning on June 7, when the event opens with a match between the Republic of Korea and the host French side. Knockout play begins with the Round of 16 on June 22, with the semi finals scheduled July 2 and 3 and final on July 7 at Stade de Lyon.
It is unclear how the organizers intend to rectify the ticketing situation – particularly for the semi final and final matches, which are all displayed as sold out on the official ticketing website. Presumably some number of fans who were not issued separated tickets will need to see their existing seats shifted to make possible the Tetris of returning wayward seats from affected orders to their intended neighbors.
We’ll update this story as additional information becomes available.