Tickets for the World Cup are being advertised on secondary websites for almost 40 times their face value, according to a leading consumer rights group.
Some were on sale in March for as much as £5,618 each, said Which?
Category one tickets for England against Tunisia on 18 June were advertised on five sites for between £480 and £11,237, despite selling for £296 on the FIFA website.
“Football fans need to be aware that if they buy a World Cup ticket from an unofficial source, they risk paying inflated prices and potentially not getting into the game at all,” said Alex Neill from Which?
“If you don’t want to risk watching the World Cup from the sidelines, you should only buy from the official FIFA reselling website.”
Football’s world governing body has exclusive selling rights for the tickets.
It has confirmed that fans risk being barred from games at the Russia tournament if they show up with tickets bought through a third party.
Some of the websites involved are unapologetic.
A spokesman for Ticombo, one of the sites selling the tickets, said it was not violating any legislation: “If FIFA has a problem with fans wishing to sell their ticket to a third party, it has a problem not with Ticombo, but with the free market itself.
“Thus we do not acknowledge the legitimacy of the accusations put forward.”
StubHub said it “fully complies with applicable laws” and does not allow the resale of World Cup tickets.
However, it admitted: “Unfortunately, World Cup tickets were, due to a technical error, viewable from (but not purchasable on) our UK site for a limited period but this was promptly fixed.
“There are currently no tickets available for the World Cup on our UK site.”
A FIFA spokesman said: “A number of unauthorised online ticket sales, offered via websites and on social media originating from various countries, have been stopped during the past months.
“Furthermore, we have taken concrete legal action against a number of platforms… while encouraging fans not to purchase tickets from unauthorised sources.”
(c) Sky News 2018: World Cup tickets ‘selling for 40 times face value’