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FIFA to Pay for Cup Ticket Woes

September 24, 2002

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TOKYO (AP) _ FIFA will compensate Japanese soccer organizers for ticket problems at the World Cup.

The Japan Organizing Committee said Tuesday it spent an additional $4 million trying to sell tickets. The organizers set up telephone hot lines, hired additional staff to deliver tickets, and used express mail to expedite ticket delivery.

``We notified FIFA the amount of extra spending we had to make because of the ticket problems, and we have accepted FIFA’s offer for an apology payment,″ organizing committee spokesman Hisao Shuto said.

Shuto said FIFA requested the compensation amount not be disclosed.

Soccer’s governing body said Monday computer errors contributed to ticketing problems.

There were large patches of empty seats at some matches, while fans who wanted to attend were unable to get tickets.

A report prepared by consultants Ernst & Young said there were several problems with tickets sold outside of Japan and South Korea, where the tournament was played this summer.

``We welcome FIFA’s acknowledgment of its responsibility and apology for the problems,″ organizing committee secretary general Yasuhiko Endo said. ``But I still want to apologize to the fans who missed out their games, because those games can never be played again.″