MADRID (AP) — Barcelona announced new measures on ticket sales on Tuesday to keep a high number of visiting fans from attending matches at the Camp Nou Stadium.
The measures come after more than 30,000 Eintracht Frankfurt supporters took over the Camp Nou in a Europa League match last week, even though only about 5,000 tickets were sold directly to the visitors.
Barcelona will now require tickets for big games to be registered to an individual so they can be more easily traced. It will also try to better control the resale of tickets by third-party agents.
After an internal investigation, the Catalan club said many Eintracht fans got in through the resale of tickets by organized groups and unofficial agents, and through Barcelona fans who misused their own season tickets.
The club apologized “to all those who were disturbed by the massive presence of German fans inside the stadium.”
It said about 7,400 members who bought tickets at a 50% discount — starting at 22 euros ($23.7) — “ended up largely in the hands of German fans.” Some 7,000 other tickets in areas reserved for season-ticket holders were also used by Eintracht supporters.
“We can’t know for sure how many season tickets were used,” club president Joan Laporta said. “It’s just estimates. We don’t want to go after anyone but we are very disappointed.”
The club said a lot of German residents in Spain got tickets. It said it rejected 27,201 purchases by German IP addresses or cards until its system “overflowed.”
Barcelona said “organized ticket touts and unauthorized agents” ended up distributing most of the 29,435 tickets that the club did not sell to German fans.
A crowd of 79,468 watched Eintracht’s 3-2 win that allowed it to advance to the semifinals of the second-tier European competition.
Laporta had earlier said that what happened was embarrassing, and fans were upset with the club.
One of Barcelona’s main fan groups protested on Monday by leaving a section of the stadium empty behind one of the goals in the team’s 1-0 loss to Cádiz in the Spanish league. Barcelona had not lost two consecutive games since 2003.
The club said the measure requiring tickets to be registered to fans will be in effect for Barcelona’s game in the semifinals of the women’s Champions League on Friday.
Members will still be able to transfer their tickets but the club will always know who is the final recipient.
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