2013 Champions League Final Anti-Ticket Touting Cooperation

Tuesday, 28, May, 2013

UEFA, The Football Association (FA) and the Metropolitan Police concluded a highly successful anti-ticket touting cooperation around the 2013 UEFA Champions League final, targeted against groups or individuals making unauthorised use of tickets for Saturday’s game at Wembley. Tickets seized as a result of these activities were distributed for charitable purposes – among others, to children from a German school and a local youth football club in London as well as colleagues of soldier drummer Lee Rigby, victim of the tragic events in Woolwich.

Tickets to the 2013 UEFA Champions League final featuring German sides FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund, were in high demand with prices on the black market reaching thousands of pounds. Although Section 166 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 makes it a criminal offence in the UK to tout tickets for football matches by an unauthorised person, and despite the fact UEFA's ticketing Terms and Conditions prohibit any resale of the tickets (whether alone or as part of any package), many individuals and companies attempted to make a profit by reselling tickets at highly inflated prices.

UEFA treats seriously any breach of its ticketing Terms and Conditions, especially involving offers or sales of tickets, and is determined to prevent and minimise such unauthorized use of tickets. On the occasion of the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley, UEFA joined forces with the FA and the Metropolitan Police to combat ticket touting activities in the lead-up to the final, taking appropriate legal action against ticket touts found to be breaking UK ticketing laws and/or UEFA's ticketing Terms and Conditions. Ticket touting has been found previously in Britain to be a cause of disorder at football matches and UEFA was eager to take strong action to prevent this happening.

Targets included individual resellers on auctioning portals, websites which offered tickets for sale over the internet, companies offering unauthorised hospitality packages as well as street sellers active on the day of the game. In a highly successful operation, 42 websites were taken down, many auctions stopped with tickets being cancelled, while on the day of the final, following the on-site operation, the Metropolitan Police arrested nine people engaged in ticket touting, including three connected to two major hospitality companies selling tickets for the big match.

As a result of the cooperation between UEFA, the FA and the Metropolitan Police, many tickets were seized in London and later charitably distributed to a local German school, youth football club as well as to military colleagues of drummer Lee Rigby.