Government as much to blame as FAI in ticket touting debacle - Louise O'Reilly TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said that the government is as much to blame as the Football Association of Ireland for allowing ticket touting to occur for the upcoming World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Portugal.
Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“There has been much debate in the past 24 hours since I first raised questions as to how ticket touting was taking place for the World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Portugal when there is specific legislation to protect against this from happening.
“In that time, An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, Minister of State, Robert Troy, as well as a number of other government representatives have tried to lay all the blame for the situation at the feet of the FAI.
“The FAI should, of course, have applied for the Ireland v Portugal game to be protected from ticket touting under the Sale of Tickets (Cultural, Entertainment, Recreational and Sporting Events) Act 2021.
“However, given the legislation is only a few months old and they have been under pressure organising the first sell-out game at Lansdowne Road in two years, they can, to a point, plead ignorance.
“The government, on the other hand, cannot plead ignorance.
“This has been negligence on their behalf. There is specific provision in the legislation which allows the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, to intervene and protect a venue or event from ticket touting.
“When an application was not received from the FAI to protect this game from ticket touting, the Tánaiste and Minister Troy should have intervened and applied the law to tickets for this game.
“That that was not done, and that the government has spent the past 24 hours trying to shift all of the blame onto the FAI, is regrettable.
“They can spin this whatever way they want, but the reality is that football fans have lost out due to their failure to act.
“There are other important games taking place in the coming weeks, such as the rugby international between Ireland and New Zealand. I hope that the Tánaiste will learn from his inaction and use his powers to ensure the game is protected from ticket touting.”