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Fifa face backlash for exaggerating number of tickets sold for games at the Women’s World Cup

In Summary

• The competition’s organisers have withdrawn a claim on their Twitter feed that one million tickets have been sold and admitted that the total includes people paying nothing to attend games, including VIPs and even medical staff.

• Fifa said they expect between ‘16,000 and 21,000’ fans at Le Havre’s 25,181-capacity Oceane Stadium for tonight’s clash between England and Argentina.

Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. celebrates after the match with fans
Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. celebrates after the match with fans
Image: /REUTERS

Fifa have come under attack for damaging the development of the women’s game at a critical moment by exaggerating the numbers of tickets sold for games at the World Cup.

 

The competition’s organisers have withdrawn a claim on their Twitter feed that one million tickets have been sold and admitted that the total includes people paying nothing to attend games, including VIPs and even medical staff.

The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) said that England fans might have been deterred from attending Sunday’s game against Scotland in Nice by suggestions of a near sell-out.

Faye White, the former England captain, said: “It’s important for the information to be accurate. It’s one thing for a positive story to be told about the appeal of the tournament but if people are not showing up and stadiums are half empty it doesn’t look good or credible.”

“The 13,500 in Nice was a massive increase on previous tournaments but you want the right information to make a decision.”

Fifa said they expect between ‘16,000 and 21,000’ fans at Le Havre’s 25,181-capacity Oceane Stadium for tonight’s clash between England and Argentina.

Deborah Dilworth, from the Football Supporters’ Association’s Lionesses team, said: “We always advocate transparency with attendance figures. Issues haven’t been limited to sales projections. The major problem we’ve encountered is when fans have had issues with online tickets and reported it to FIFA, many are receiving absolutely no response.”