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Ireland v Portugal ticket issues show that new anti-touting law not working as it should - Ó Riordan

Tickets for the Republic of Ireland's match with Portugal have appeared on reselling websites at inflated prices.
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

12.51 27 Oct 2021


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Ireland v Portugal ticket issues show that new anti-touting law not working as it should - Ó Riordan


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

12.51 27 Oct 2021


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There are calls for the Tánaiste to bring all major sporting venues under new ticket-touting legislation.

The laws, which came into effect in July, allow for organisations to designate venues or individual events to stop tickets from being sold above face value.

However, fresh concerns have been raised after tickets for next month's sold-out Ireland v Portugal game quickly appeared on reseller websites at inflated prices.

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The Government has said the match at the Aviva Stadium isn’t covered by the legislation as they received no application in advance.

The FAI has since confirmed it only applied for the World Cup qualifier match to be designated under the legislation yesterday.

While the Department can still grant the protection of the event, ticket-touting will be permitted until it does so.

In the meantime, fans are being urged to not buy tickets sold on third-party websites, with the FAI saying they risk not being allowed into the stadium.

'Teething problems'

Labour’s Aodhán Ó Ríordáin told Lunchtime Live it’s clear the ticket touting legislation isn’t working the way it should be.

He said five venues are already designated under the new legislation - including Dublin’s Vicar Street and Limerick’s Thomond Park.

However, the Dublin TD believes the Aviva Stadium and Croke Park now need to be covered under the legislation - something he said Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has the power to do.

He said: “The cleanest and neatest thing for the minister to do now is designate Lansdowne Road as a designated stadium… and engage with the various different sporting organisations to see whether they have an objection to this or not.

“This is new legislation… there were always going to be teething problems. Perhaps it wasn’t foreseen that an Ireland v Portugal game wouldn’t sell out within minutes… but we can only deal with the situation we have now.

"What happens now is that the minister intervenes… so this doesn’t happen again.”

Leo Varadkar this afternoon said his Department needs to be more proactive in getting big sporting events and gigs registered under ticket touting law.

He believes the FAI's request for the Ireland v Portugal game can now be turned around in a few days.

Until that point, it's not illegal to resell tickets above face value.

'Annoyed and disappointed'

Robert Troy is Minister of State for Trade Promotion, and he spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about the situation.

He explained: “I’m very annoyed and disappointed that the FAI hasn’t used the legislation that the Oireachtas passed.

“That legislation offered protections for genuine fans. What the FAI should have done is made an application to become either a designated venue in conjunction with the IRFU, or indeed looked for designation for a particular event.

“Had they done that, the fans buying tickets for this match would have been protected under this legislation.”

He said the designation process is free and simple, and it ensures venues can have measures in place to ensure legitimate fans pay a fair price for tickets.

Main image: Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (left, picture via RollingNews.ie) and Aviva Stadium (right, picture via Donal Murphy / Alamy Stock Photo)

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