Thousands of fake World Cup tickets enter Chinese market
Authorities have confirmed that a Russian company sold more than 10,000 fake tickets to the 2018 Russian World Cup. It's estimated that 3,500 of them have entered the Chinese market, reports China National Radio.
It is the biggest counterfeit case of its kind in World Cup history.
The Russian company claimed they had ticketing rights to the games, presenting to customers a letter they claimed was from an official with the Russian organizing committee. Both the Russia Foreign Ministry and FIFA later announced that the letter was fake.
The 3,500 fake tickets in the Chinese market were mainly bought by travel agencies.
The Chongqing Travel Administration said that around 90 fans from Chongqing had booked tours that included the fake World Cup tickets. Travel agencies have been told to contact the affected customers who haven't started their trip so they can change or cancel their travel plans. So far 30 tourists who have already arrived in Russia have been able to attend games after a resolution was reached by several travel agencies.
China's embassy in Russia reminded soccer fans and travel agencies to call the police if they come across fake tickets. The embassy has said it will urge Russian authorities to respond to the incident.
Football fans in China have only two official options for buying tickets: they can purchase them directly from FIFA's official website, or buy them through Shankai Sports Travel, the country's only authorized reseller, said Sha Song, senior marketing manager of Shankai.
Sponsors of the World Cup, such as Wanda, Vivo, and Mengniu Dairy will also receive some tickets from FIFA. Those tickets cannot be sold, but can be offered as gifts to the company's customers, according to Sha Song.
Source: China Plus