Any UK bid to host the 2030 World Cup must include plans for a ticket price cap to avoid fans being priced out, Labour has urged.
The prime minister said earlier this year that the government was “very keen to bring football home” in 2030, stressing it would be “an absolutely wonderful thing for the country”.
As excitement builds ahead of the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy on Sunday evening at Wembley Stadium, prices have soared well above their initial worth via resale sites for thousands of pounds.
Tickets for the game — the first major international final for England’s men’s football team since 1966 — would cost almost €600 (£512) at original prices, Labour said.
Pointing to ticket prices for the historic 1966 clash between England and West Germany, the party said the average weekly wage would have been enough to buy 40 tickets for the World Cup final.
Insisting affordability must be “built into” the 2030 bid, Labour added the government’s review of football governance, announced earlier this year, should include examining a price gap to stop fans being priced out.
“England’s success in this tournament has made us all proud and shown again how much joy football can bring,” the shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said. “Sadly ticket prices have been outrageous, pricing out genuine fans.”
She added: “As we bid for 2030, we must make it affordable to watch the World Cup on home soil for the first time since 1966. Let’s bring football home.”
Her remarks came as an internal government email sent by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) told officials to encourage ministers not to use the phrase ‘it’s coming home’, due to concerns it does not “go down well overseas”.
Highlighting the government’s bid to host the 2030 World Cup jointly with Ireland, it added: “Strategically we need to do all we can to make ourselves welcoming to football authorities”.
The consumer group, Which?, told Press Associationthat fans should avoid unofficial ticket sellers, saying England’s win had “understandably kick-started a huge scramble for the chance to be at Wembley”, with some tickets selling for as much as £17,000.
Consumer rights expert Adam French said: “Even though some of these websites claim to offer tickets from ‘100 per cent’ trusted sellers, this is often not the case.
“You need to be aware that Uefa’s terms and conditions state it can void tickets sold on unofficial sites – something you might not find out until you’re denied entry at the turnstile and left thousands of pounds out of pocket.
“If you’re not lucky enough to get your hands on a ticket through the official website you might be better off saving your cash and making plans to watch Gareth Southgate and the lads take on Italy with family and friends at home or in the pub.”