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World Cup 2006: FIFA mismanagement, again May 29, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Football, Sport, Travel, World Cup.

The Sankei Shimbun had an article over the weekend exposing the full scale of the accomodations debacle that is currently angering hoteliers in Germany.

FIFA's subsidiary WCAS which had reserved as many as 2 million room.nights for sponsors, VIPs, and teams, has cancelled more than 1 million room.nights. The cancellations amount to 8000 rooms at 76 hotels, of which 5000 rooms are concentrated in and around Berlin. 

Hoteliers are angry that the cancellations occured so late, although the cancellations occured before cancellation fees kicked in. (I suspect normal people are being held to draconian cancellation clauses, whereas WCAS has negotiated flexible terms)

Some hotels are slashing prices to increase occupancy rates, whereas some have said it would be unfair to those who have reserved their rooms at the published rates and will not be modifying pricing.

This is not the first time FIFA have screwed up. A similar hotel cancellation problem was reported in Japan/Korea 2002.

There is also the question of why WCAS was handling this role. WCAS is said to be a company associated with FIFA, but details are unclear. FIFA still seems to be awarding lucrative deals like this to companies set up by insiders and associates, despite the fiasco of the on-line booking system and hotels 4 years ago.

It is high time organisations like FIFA (and the IOC, amongst others) get their act together and implement trasparency and accountability in their process, however hard it may be to kick a decades long habit of lining their own pockets. 



1. Telyas - May 29, 2006

Hotel prices go down, flight fare is reasonable. Now, if I could only get tickets to Japan-Brazil game.

2. Kurt - June 1, 2006

what about the story i saw tonight on houdou station: some tour operator was suppose to get his tix via China but for some reason (i didn’t catch that bit) couldn’t, resulting in them cancelling 1080 tour reservations for Japanese to fly to Germany for Japan’s 3 group stage games. Ouch! I can’t even being to imagine how bummed these folks must be…The interesting side to this story is the China angle, from what I could catch it seems that because of the Beijing Olympics, China had a certain “pull” (chikara the work used) in getting tix from FIFA; hence it was easier (at least that was the plan) for this tour outfit to go through a China tour agency for the tix…

3. fukumimi - June 1, 2006

Many Japanese fans (I suspect other countries suffered similar fates as well, but Japanese fans have $$$ and Japanese companies apparently are duped more frequently than by their overseas “partners” going by how much these things are reported in the press here vs say the UK) got screwed when they turned up in France ’98 and the tour company didn’t have the promised tickets for the game….

I can sort of see the logic that FIFA is following with their authorised channels, trying to beat ticket touts etc. There are only two authorised travel agents in Japan, and demand far outstrips supply.

I don’t understand what FIFA and the IOC have anything to do with eachother though so I don’t see what the Beijing 2008 olympics have anything to do with getting tickets for Germany. There aren’t any Chinese sponsors for the World Cup either, so it doesn’t seem likely they could get tickets that way either….

I continue to be amazed at the professed naivety of some Japanese companies, and the way Japanese fans become so desparate that they get screwed every World Cup (hopefully not the same individuals….)

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

It must be gut-wrenching for the fans who were looking forward to this for months and months.

I have several friends flying over to Germany to watch the World Cup, one even has managed to convince his newly wedded wife (who has absolutely no interest in football) with whom he will be honeymooning in France to agree to a side-trip to Germany to watch a Japan game. A couple of others are going over there without tickets, prepared to cough up what touts demand….

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