Lausanne, May 22: Responding to criticism after some fans buying tickets for the Women's World Cup were not given seats together, FIFA said it was working toward a solution with the local organising committee in France.
Tickets were made available for printing Monday (May 20) and ticket holders learned their seats were sometimes split up in separate rows and different sections - even couples and families with children were separated. The backlash on social media was swift.
On Tuesday (May 21), FIFA posted a statement to its website explaining that high demand for some matches, including the semifinal and final in Lyon, meant only single seats were available.
FIFA and the Local Organising Committee are confident the problems will be solved and the fans will be able to enjoy the matches as they envisaged.FIFA Women's World Cup 🇫🇷 (@FIFAWWC) May 21, 2019
FIFA also said that it estimates only a small number of fans are affected.
"FIFA and the Local Organizing Committee are continuing to work towards finding the best solution for all fans attending the FIFA Women's World Cup and, in particular, are doing everything they can to ensure that families will always be seated together at each and every match," the statement said, referencing a phone number and email for inquiries.
The previous tweets regarding FIFA Women’s World Cup tickets allocation were published without a full understanding of the situation and we apologise for that. The issues were faced by less than 1% of fans requesting tickets for the semi finals and the final.FIFA Women's World Cup 🇫🇷 (@FIFAWWC) May 21, 2019
The tournament starts June 7 and runs through July 7.
The situation could cause problems in the stadiums before games, when fans may try to swap seats to sit next to friends or family members.
FIFA's website included a disclaimer that the local organizing committee has assigned the French firm APS2 to handle online ticket sales. AP2S did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.