This isn't a crude reference to the red light scene in many German cities (although it easily could be), but rather a look at the way everyone is making a quick penny out of the World Cup in Germany this summer.

FIFA's slogan for their showpiece this summer is "a time to make friends". As wholesome as that sounds, it doesn't quite include the entire spectrum of people in Germany this summer.

You can stay with your new friends in their own house this summer should you so wish (and I do), as long as you're willing to pay them for that spare room that currently hosts a fishtank and those boxes they were meaning to open but never got round to. gives landlords the chance to offer their rooms, and fans respond by saying they'll try their hardest not to vomit in the rockery after too many Weissbiers.

A system that may get some use for those not wanting to use the train system in Germany is the Mitfahrzentrale. This gives drivers the chance to offer people their spare seats in a car to a venue they are going to, as long as they stump up some of the petrol costs. It may seem a trifle risky, but that's the age we're in these days. Besides, all their details are on the website so that shoud provide some assurances. Either way, you pays yer money and you takes yer chances.

If your new driver seems to be taking the exit off the Autobahn towards something called "Der Nürburgring", start to worry. He's taking you around a racing track, and a busy one at that. Should you not trust another driver, then the Call-A-Bike option is always there, for quick and effective transport around chosen cities.

With the advent of eBay people are picking up everything from sarongs to thongs, laden with national emblems and flags. In some cases people have even sold tickets to World Cup matches on eBay (although this is now banned in the UK).

Ticket Swap Shop requires a registration fee of 25 Euros to simply put you in contact with someone else who may want to trade a spare ticket with you. Of course the argument is that had FIFA and those handling the ticketing process had offered a swap shop in the first place, the size of any grey market would be severely diminished. On the official FanGuide website the out of date material does state there will be an official ticket swap shop, but this never materialised. Without going too vehemently on the offensive against FIFA et al, it seems odd that in the first phases of ticket applications, fans were forced to pick matches completely blind. The only way of swapping them officially is in cases of extreme hardship – e.g. Wrath of God, exile in Siberia or your own death.

With so many people claiming a ticket transfer "within the family", the obvious excuse is that we are all part of the wider football community. In times of Terrorism™ it's clear we're all one big happy family, which in an optimistic way is perhaps what FIFA intended all along.

One response to “Rent-a-mate

  1. A happy Customer of Ticketswapshop

    Having read this blog, I respond to the references made to, of which i am a member.

    I found myself in the situation that you described, with an allocation of tickets randomly allocated by FIFA, conducted in a way that only benefits them in as much as ‘maximising’ their sales to 100%.

    Faced with this dilemma, I explored the options of returning them, selling them to rebuy the ones i wanted (black market), and swapping. The first two options were closed to me, due to the harsh restrictions laid down on official exchanges or returns, and the cost / loss associated with selling and re-buying on the black market. So idecided to swap.

    After spending weeks and weeks looking through various forums, bulleting boards etc I found nothing but timewasters and touts, until I found ticketswapshop.

    Yes, once you have joined, entered your tickets and reviewed all the tickets available for swapping there is a fee of 25 Euros payable only if you want to finalise an exchange with another fan. Given that all members are in the same boat, it acts a filter so you dont have to deal with all the time wasters and chancers that swarm the forums and bulletin boards. Also, with no fees up front (like all the other managed swap sites) i found it to be an honest and fair method of getting my swaps sorted out.

    I have now successfully swapped my ‘unwanted tickets’ with a fan who wanted them, who also had the ones that i wanted (both victims of the rediculous allocation process used by FIFA). Therefore we are both happy bunnies.

    The 25 euros spent with ticketswapshop in facilitating this swap is in my opinion money well spent – They saved me time, effort, and money when compared to the expense and risk of the only other option open to me, which was the balck market.

    Thank you ticketswapshop, for providing a fair and thought through solution to a crazy situation forced onto fans by the organisation that is supposed to put them first.


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