World Cup tickets sell out despite computer virus

3rd May 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 May 2005, FRANKFURT - Another 11 team ticket packages for the 2006 football World Cup were sold within the first 24 hours of a second sales period although organisers were hit by a computer virus, the organising committee said on Tuesday.

3 May 2005

FRANKFURT - Another 11 team ticket packages for the 2006 football World Cup were sold within the first 24 hours of a second sales period although organisers were hit by a computer virus, the organising committee said on Tuesday.

The committee said that the tickets for matches of 11 teams - which were not named - are to be added to those for 13 others (including hosts Germany, holders Brazil and other top sides) already sold out in the first sales stage.

Organisers said that demand for tickets for France and Ukraine - teams likely to qualify - were picking up as well among the total 105 packages on offer for the tournament which features 32 teams.

World Cup qualifying runs until November, with the draw then set for December.

"The run was immense. In the first hour we got 9,000 applications within one second from around the world," OC vice-president Wolfgang Niersbach said in reference to start of the sales period at noon local time (1000 GMT) on Monday.

By noon on Tuesday 13,771 applicants had bought 30,199 tickets on a 'first come, first served' basis.

The second sales process continues until 15 November or until all team tickets have been sold.

Three further ticket sales periods follow at later dates.

But organisers were also confronted with a computer virus - disguised as a ticketing confirmation message - which badly hampered their communications.

The OC said that e-mails from Ticket@fifa.de or Gewinn@fifa.de indicated the virus' presence, and that the mail's attachment should not be opened because it is contaminated. In the e-mail, recipients are asked to open the attachment.

"We don't yet know exactly what happens when the attachment is opened. It appears as if the system of the OC is to be knocked out while the computers of the recipients are not affected," said organising committee spokesman Gerd Graus in a radio interview earlier in the day.

Graus said that those who successfully order tickets received an online confirmation without an attachment.

"If you get an e-mail with an attachment, it can't be from us," Graus said.

Graus said the OC was tipped off by anti-virus software providers McAfee as well as by phone calls from people who received the e-mail promising tickets even though they didn't order any.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article