It seems impossible to get rid of, but FIFA attempts to minimize it. And by ‘it’ we mean ghost viewers – with tickets sold, but left unused. Number of such spots may reach several thousand per game.
We wrote about the problem during Euro 2012, when declared number of spectators was around 99%, but there were clearly thousands of empty seats at almost every game. Same thing happened later during the 2012 Olympics in London, making FIFA address the problem ahead of their events in 2013 (Confederations Cup) and 2014 (World Cup).
Why do fans obtain tickets and then don’t show up? Very often they don’t actually get access to the tickets, as they’re ‘stuck’ between FIFA and sponsors, partners or national federations who don’t use their allocations fully, but at the same time don’t return the unused tickets. Individuals having tickets may in turn resign without having a good and trusted way to resell their seats.
Both these issues are to be dealt with by FIFA who are hoping to improve their communication with commercial partners to make sure that as many tickets as possible are actually getting across to those needing them. Also, a new reselling platform is to be set for people who obtained a ticket, but aren’t able to use it.