Asian Cup ticket delays leads to phoney vendors

The Asian Foot6ball Confederation is warning fans and media to beware of "certain unauthorized websites" which are illegally selling tickets for the AFC Asian Cup 2007 "which are copyrighted to and owned by AFC as the official organizer of the event." This is despite the facts that "NONE of the AFC Asian Cup 2007 tickets for the four venues are yet available for sale"; "in no circumstances can [legitimate] tickets be resold"; and "any sale of tickets can be undertaken only by AFC licensed and authorised ticket vendors.

AFC has demanded in a letter to a Norwegian-run website and an Australian-run website to "immediately cease the sale and or distribution of AFC Asian Cup 2007 tickets on their websites and desist from all infringement of AFC’s rights in the future by March 5, 2007, failing which AFC will not hesitate to take full recourse to legal avenues to rectify the situation." The AFC also warned the public against purchasing tickets offered on unauthorized websites as these [tickets] "are not legal and will not be honoured by AFC in any manner".

AFC said it will "shortly" announce the date of the official sale of tickets for the matches to be held in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia during 7-29 July 2007.

However, in comparison, the European Football Confederation (UEFA) has already made registrations available for tickets for next year's final rounds of the UEFA European Championships being played in Austria and Switzerland between 7-29 July 2008.

Since bookings were opened on 1 March this year, more than two million ticket requests have been received via from 128 countries and applications for tickets will be accepted until midnight on 31 March. The validity of all of the applications received will be checked at beginning of April, with a draw following in the middle of the month to allocate tickets for over-subscribed matches. The draw will be entirely random and supervised by a notary, and all applicants will know by the end of April whether they have been successful.