Fans due to attend the Women's World Cup in France this summer have been left baffled by a mix-up in FIFA's ticketing system has led to some people being separated from others in their group when not all tickets purchased together were given seats next to each other.
FIFA defended the blunder in a message to displeased fans on Twitter, "When you placed your order, a message indicating not all seats would be located next to each other did appear, before confirmation of your purchase. Unfortunately we will not be able to modify your order."
Dear fans. We have noted some of your comments, re: your tickets. When you placed your order, a message indicating not all seats would be located next to each other did appear, before confirmation of your purchase. Unfortunately we will not be able to modify your order.— FIFA Women's World Cup 🇫🇷 (@FIFAWWC) May 20, 2019
A concession has at least been granted to parents who have been separated from their children under the age of 18, with FIFA urging people affected in this way to contact its customer service.
FIFA later issued a further update as the details of the problems became clearer, having admittedly issued its first response without 'a full understanding of the situation'.
That subsequent tweet claimed that the problem was only experienced by 'less than 1% of fans requesting tickets for the semi finals and the final'. But at no point has an apology been issued to those affected, many of whom are travelling to France from across the world.
The previous tweets regarding FIFA Women’s World Cup tickets allocation were published without a full understanding of the situation and we apologise for that. The issues were faced by less than 1% of fans requesting tickets for the semi finals and the final.— FIFA Women's World Cup 🇫🇷 (@FIFAWWC) May 21, 2019
A further message read, "FIFA and the Local Organising Committee are confident the problems will be solved and the fans will be able to enjoy the matches as they envisaged."
Some supporters have not accepted that 'less than 1%' have been affected, or that it is only the semi finals and finals.
One Twitter user claimed, "...the error has affected Parc des Princes matches, too — including the sold out opening match." Another added in response, "Also Rennes."
Somebody else said, " Less than 1%? It's 100% of the people we have talked to."
Less than 1%? It’s 100% of the people we have talked to— Julie Strub (@julie_strub) May 21, 2019
And another claimed, "Everyone I know who bought the Lyon package has been seated separately, even couples. That is more than 1%."
Everyone I know who bought the Lyon package has been seated separately, even couples. That is more than 1%.— lora 🌹⭐⭐🍁 (@sauciedotcom) May 21, 2019
The tournament is due to kick off in a little over two weeks when host nation France face South Korea in Paris on Friday 7th June. The final will take place in Lyon exactly a month later on 7th July.
The United States, Germany, England and France are the four main contenders to lift the trophy.