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Germany

German Authorities Close Illegal World Cup Ticket Site

A website that was illegally offering tickets for the 2006 World Cup in Germany has been shut down by German authorities, according to a statement by world soccer's governing body FIFA. Despite authentic tickets not being available until next year, FIFA said that “unscrupulous persons” were taking advantage of the great demand for tickets by “using the Internet to attempt to sell tickets that are not yet available.” It said a Munich district court, acting on Fifa’s initiative, had found an Internet provider guilty of initiating attempts to sell tickets for the 2006 World Cup on German market. The court ruled the provider was “misleading the public” and engaging in “illegal competition”, according to a Fifa statement that did not identify provider. German organizers, the only source of official tickets, won’t start accepting ticket orders before the first quarter of 2005.