Blatter promises inquiry into ticket chaos


FIFA will investigate the ticketing chaos that resulted in tens of thousands of empty seats in the early stages of the World Cup.

"We will later on go into a kind of investigation to find out where are the responsibilities," FIFA president Mr Sepp Blatter told a news conference today.

Mr Blatter said he did not know the reasons for the problems.

"If I knew today the exact reasons then we wouldn't need to clarify the situation," he said. "Secondly, once the situation is clarified and investigated, naturally the results will be communicated publicly."

FIFA general secretary Mr Michel Zen-Ruffinen told a news conference on Thursday the problem had now been solved. He said mistakes had been made all round from setting South Korean prices too high to over-estimating the number of foreign fans who would travel to the first World Cup finals staged in Asia.

Asked about the standard of the refereeing at the tournament, Mr Blatter said the major problem was not with the referees but the linesmen.

"I have to say that a major problem in football at the professional level is not the referees but the assistant referees," he said. "We have to find out solutions as to how they can better judge decisions."

Italy were incensed when two goals were disallowed during their surprise 2-1 defeat to Croatia last Saturday.

Linesman Jens Larsen told Danish radio he had made a mistake waving Christian Vieri offside after the Italy striker had scored, but that he had been right in deciding Filippo Inzaghi had pulled a defender's shirt before he claimed a late goal.

Mr Blatter praised the South Korean and Japanese organisers of the first co-hosted World Cup.

"Never have we had such a huge organisation, such an absolutely perfect logistical organisation for the teams, for the spectators, for everybody," he said.

"We are playing in a totally different ambience and it's a wonderful ambience."