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Irish Fans Could Face A Year In Japanese Jail If They Re-Sell Rugby World Cup Tickets

Irish Fans Could Face A Year In Japanese Jail If They Re-Sell Rugby World Cup Tickets

Japan has introduced stricter new touting laws in advance of this year's Rugby World Cup in order to clamp down on ticket scalping.

Under the new laws enacted on Friday, those found guilty of re-selling Rugby World Cup tickets - and tickets to any sporting events in the country - for a profit can face a year in prison as well as a fine of ¥1m (€8,220) or both.

Akira Shimazu, CEO of the Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee, welcomed the news, saying:

"We have been working on this matter in close partnership with the Japanese authorities and welcome this new law that specifically targets illegal ticket resale, giving authorities a clear and strong framework in which to police this crime.

"With demand for tickets across Rugby World Cup 2019 far outstripping available supply, people may be tempted to resell tickets for profit or to buy tickets through unofficial sources. Therefore, I can’t stress strongly enough that it’s just not worth the risk.

"Ticket scalpers face severe punishment, while fans buying tickets through unofficial sources risk paying large sums of money for tickets that may not get them inside the stadium. It would be absolutely heart-breaking to outlay the significant time and expense to get to Japan, and then to be denied stadium entry due to an issue with tickets purchased through unofficial sources."

rugby world cup tickets are on sale

Instead, fans are urged to re-sell unwanted tickets through the Rugby World Cup 2019 Official Resale Service, where fans can buy and sell tickets at face value.

Since its launch at the end of May, officials say 7,000 of the 13,000 Rugby World Cup tickets listed for re-sale have found a new owner.

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Tickets can also be purchased directly from World Rugby, with roughly 20% of the tickets for this year's tournament still available - though Ireland's opening two games appear to have sold out.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont warned against using unofficial sources for Rugby World Cup tickets or hospitality, saying:

"We are very aware that unofficial sources will try to exploit fans via unofficial ticketing, hospitality or merchandise.

"This new legislation is another important and welcome programme to protect fans.

"It is our priority to ensure that their experience is memorable for all the right reasons and therefore it is important that all fans planning to attend the Tournament are informed that they face a major disappointment, including being refused entry, unless they purchase their tickets, hospitality and merchandise from official outlets."

Ireland have been drawn in Pool A alongside the hosts Japan for the tournament. They will be joined by Six Nations rivals Scotland as well as Samoa and Russia.

The tournament kicks off on September 20, with Joe Schmidt's men making their first appearance two days later when they face Scotland in Yokohama.

Read More: 'We'd Love To Have Him' - Folau Offered Route Back To World Cup Via Tonga Switch

Kevin Beirne

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