Court rates security above privacy in row over tickets

Click to follow
The Independent Football

A Frankfurt court ruled yesterday that security interests made personalised World Cup tickets necessary.

A ticket-holder filed a complaint requesting that his identity card number be removed from his World Cup ticket. But the Frankfurt district court ruled that such information was necessary to ensure security at the tournament from 9 June to 9 July. The ruling said that identity card numbers were proof of identity, especially because names and dates of birth could be misprinted on the tickets. All tickets will bear such personalised information in an attempt to clamp down on touts and hooligans.

Organisers have urged fans to give themselves plenty of time to arrive for a match because controls at the gates could take a long time. Privacy protection groups have protested against demands to include such personal information on the request for tickets.

Fifa, the world governing body, has called the German ticketing system complicated and will do its own distribution for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Elsewhere, in France, prosecutors are seeking a two-year jail sentence for the former Marseilles coach Roland Courbis in the club's embezzlement trial. Courbis is one of 14 defendants - including the club president Robert Louis-Dreyfus - facing charges of embezzling €22.1m (£15.3m) in club funds in the transfer of 15 players between 1997 and 1999. The prosecutor Mark Cimamonti said Courbis was the "main instigator" in a "system of institutionalised fraud".

Cimamonti asked for prison terms of two years for the agents Gilbert Sau and Licio D'Onofrio and one year for Jean-Francois Larios, a former player with Saint Etienne before becoming an agent.