UEFA probes luxury EURO 2008 tickets
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At least two Croatian tourist agencies are suspected of illegally selling VIP tickets for the EURO 2008, prompting UEFA to launch an investigation into the sale of travel packages that allegedly breach rules on ticket re-sale.
European football's ruling body will investigate the sale of luxury VIP packages by Croatian travel agencies for the upcoming Euro 2008 tournament, a UEFA official told a Croatian business daily Friday.
At least two local agencies have been advertising VIP football 'packages' for the tournament to be held in Austria and Switzerland, one of which claims to have obtained tickets from an American company specialising in major events.
However UEFA said the re-sale of such tickets, including as part of package deals, is forbidden.
"No tickets for (matches at) the Euro 2008 can be resold commercially, including those that become part of tourist packages," Lance Kelly, UEFA's chief legal advisor, told the business daily Poslovni Dnevnik.
Kelly said UEFA will now investigate claims that the two agencies were selling travel packages, ranging in price from 1,700 to 9,100 euros, for Croatia's first round matches in Austria. Croatia face Germany, Poland and co-hosts Austria in the group stages.
The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) recently stated it was the country's sole distributor of tickets for the first round, for which it has receieved 19,000 tickets.
One of the travel agencies, Kompas, announced on its website in February that in the face of the "lottery system run by the federation" it had found a solution to guarantee tickets to "clients for whom the price is no object".
The agency's director Ivan Puksar refused to divulge who his ticket supplier was, but claimed: "We obtained the tickets from a American organiser who specialises in trips to major sporting events."
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