Uefa pleased by police clampdown on Austrian ticket touts
Around 300 black market tickets have so far been confiscated here from touts by Austrian police during Euro 2008, including 155 before last Sunday's quarter-final between Spain and Italy, organisers said yesterday.
"I think it was the first time a large number of tickets were seized from touts," Uefa's director of communications, William Gaillard, said.
The clampdown probably explained the large blocks of empty seats in the Italian section of the 51,000-capacity Ernst Happel stadium for the game, which Spain won on penalties. Touts have been selling tickets in host cities in Austria and Switzerland throughout the tournament, with some touts coming over from Britain and the United States to trade.
"The whole issue of touting, or black market ticketing, is related to how good the national laws are," Gaillard said. "Some countries are better protected than others and Austria is better protected than Switzerland."
Swiss authorities have said they are powerless to intervene due to liberal local laws on the selling of goods in public.
"We clamped down in Portugal in 2004 and have been very successful in UK courts fighting this kind of problem, which hits fans, especially those of limited means," Gaillard added.