It’s no secret that the 2018 FIFA World Cup tickets in Russia are expensive. The prices vary by match and category, but the priciest ticket to the Final match at category 1 (the most luxurious seats) will set you back a whopping 66,000 Russian rubles or US$1,050.14.
That is, if you were a super early bird who had been lucky enough to get tickets months before the match.
Since September 2017, FIFA has begun selling tickets to football buffs on a first come first served basis and through random selection draws. But consider this: only Russian residents are allowed at Category 4 seats (which are cheapest tickets) so non-Russian citizens could only choose from Category 3, 2, and 1.
This is probably why many last-minute buyers miss the chance to get tickets to the game and look for other means to gain access to Russia’s playing venues. What are they to do? Well, some resort to secondary or resale markets like the infamous and controversial site, Viagogo.
With the high demand and short supply for World Cup tickets, some crafty resellers have found ways to dupe desperate football fans into buying tickets at inflated prices. According to Associated Press, some pre-owned tickets could fetch $2,300 per match, which is more than double the original price tag.
For World Cup fans who have been following the news, online scalping may be old news. It happened in South Africa, Brazil, Germany, and other World Cup events. Since tickets to the world's most widely viewed sporting event are hard to come by legitimately, a black market for resold FIFA tickets has persisted through the years.
Scam ticketing agencies continue to take advantage of unsuspecting fans. Recently, about 3,000 Chinese fans were deceived by a private Russian ticketing agency that sold them counterfeit World Cup tickets.
This deceit on a massive scale is alarming.
Buyers, beware of resold FIFA tickets from unauthorized sources as many of them are often fake. Don’t compare purchasing pre-owned World Cup tickets to shopping pre-loved luxury goods. If you haven’t bought the ticket from an official seller or the main ticketing office in Russia, it’s likely next to useless.