On 25 May 2018, The Guardian reported that ticketing site Viagogo.com was responsible for ripping off multiple football fans. They had been buying tickets for the FIFA World Cup in bulk, and selling them on to fans at an extortionate rate. There were no guarantees that a fan would get the ticket in time, or at all.
That is the normal price of doing illegal business with third parties. But the risks were even higher for the 2018 edition of the World Cup. The local Russian authorities had decided that it was a serious security problem to have vast numbers of people arrive from all over the planet, and decided to issue a document called the Fan ID.
First used during the Sochi Olympics in 2016, the Fan ID was a simple document to procure if you had bought your World Cup tickets directly from FIFA. All you had to do was register with your FIFA ticket order. This ID was needed to not only enter the stadium for the match, but also as a de facto visa for all tourists that had travelled to Russia for the tournament.
However, Viagogo had no obligation to pass on the multiple ticket order numbers to every buyer. Fan forums were abuzz with customers desperately begging for information on how to get a Fan ID with third party-purchased tickets. Thus, on 4 June, FIFA filed a criminal complaint against Viagogo for selling World Cup tickets in a bid to ward off last minute sales and protect fans.
The only problem with all this? In a bout of drunken adventurousness, TheBigScope’s own Tarutr Malhotra had bought himself a ticket to the World Cup semifinal. On the 24th of May. Using Viagogo’s services. For an extortionate price.
Instead of figuring out a way to get his money back, watch him double down on the mistake, get himself a Fan ID, use it as a visa at Russian immigration, and – of course – somehow sneak himself another illegal ticket to that iconic final between France and Croatia, on the day of the final itself!