FC Barcelona to Take Action Against Ticket Scalpers

Roberto Alvarez-GallosoChief Writer IFebruary 17, 2012

FC Barcelona
FC BarcelonaDavid Ramos/Getty Images

FC Barcelona has announced (on its website) its submission of the case of 179 scalped tickets at its UEFA Champions League (UCL) match against Bayer Leverkusen. The submission of the case was made to its Disciplinary Committee.

The decision to take this course of action occurred after a similar incident in a match between Barca and AC Milan. The incident of the scalped tickets was related to supporters of La Blaugrana in Italy.

La Blaugrana did a cross-comparison study of their ticket sales of the UCL match with those of AC Milan. The study revealed 180 probable cases of ticket scalping in the UCL match between Barca and Bayer Leverkusen.

FC Barcelona notified Bayer Leverkusen of the scalped tickets before the match and asked for cooperation in the matter. Barca sent employees of its ticketing and security staff to Germany for more information and possible course of action. It was discovered that the tickets were being sold at a more inflated price, preventing legitimate ticket holders from attending the match.

The tickets were paired with the ticket holders who arrived at the stadium. The ticket holder was allowed to attend the UCL match if he or she was a Barca supporter.

The measure was taken in order to comply with crowd segregation rules of UEFA. The result of the measures taken revealed that 179 of the 180 tickets (94 percent) in the investigation had been resold at a higher price.

Ticket scalping or touting is an illegal (in some places) practice of purchasing tickets for any event and reselling them at a higher price. The idea of scalping or touting tickets is morally wrong and punishes those who want to attend a match or event.

The only exceptions would be the sports associations that have an official ticket exchange program or legitimate companies that conduct these transactions.

The British government has a law in its books called The Ticket Touting (Designation of Football Matches) Order 2007.  The law covers every event in world football from the Premier League and UEFA to FIFA.

The law punishes offenders with a £5,000 ($7,900) fine. A ban on attending future world football matches is part of this important piece of legislation.

Bloomberg has reported that Brian Colleary was fired as associate athletic director of St. John's University, located in Queens, New York. The reason was for scalping tickets to the university's basketball matches.

FC Barcelona has done the right thing in investigating this blot in world football. It is hoped that the results of these investigations lead to a positive outcome such as the reduction of ticket scalping or touting.