October 28, 2019 / 3:17 AM / a month ago

Black market booming for World Cup final tickets

TOKYO (Reuters) - Rugby fans hoping to make a last-minute dash to Saturday’s World Cup final between England and South Africa in Japan are being quoted 800 to 4,000 pounds ($1,000 to $5,000) per ticket by touts and secondary sales websites.

The face value of the cheapest Category D tickets is around 180 pounds, but several are available on ticket sites for just over four-times that value.

Top level Category A tickets, which cost 720 pounds when originally sold via the official Rugby World Cup site, are on sale from just under 2,000 pounds up to 4,000 pounds.

On the streets of Tokyo and Yokohama over the weekend, several English touts who operate at many of the world’s major sporting events were offering 2,000 per ticket even before the Springboks beat Wales to reach the final.

Saturday will mark the first appearance in the final for both South Africa and England since they played each other in the 2007 decider in Paris, won by the Springboks.

Throughout the 2019 tournament, Rugby World Cup organisers have said fans with tickets purchased from unofficial sellers would be turned away at stadiums, though there have been few reports of such incidents.

Ticket sites such as Viagogo and Stubhub said they offer refunds to fans whose tickets are rejected at the gate.

A Viagogo spokesman told Britain’s Guardian newspaper: “Rather than ‘ripping people off’ this is the market working perfectly.”

($1 = 0.7800 pounds)

Reporting by Mitch Phillips; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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