Court halts controversial football e-ticketing plan

Court halts controversial football e-ticketing plan

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Court halts controversial football e-ticketing plan

Only a small group of Beşiktaş fans attended last weekend’s Spor Toto Super League game against Kasımpaşa.

An Ankara court provisionally halted the controversial e-ticketing system in Turkish football games May 8.

The court decided to provisionally halt the system, named “Passolig,” to “avoid consumers being treated unjustly.”

The decision came after a nongovernmental organization named Supporter Rights Solidarity Center (Taraf-Der) applied to the consumers’ court.

The first hearing of the case will be held on Sept. 25, meaning the new Spor Toto Super League season is set to start without Passolig.

Despite the ruling, Youth and Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kılıç said he did not think the “Passolig is over,” but needed to see the judge’s justification.

The new system would require football fans to buy special cards and electronic tickets to watch games in the stadiums and drew criticism and protests from the supporter groups.

As of April 15, anyone who wanted to buy tickets for a football match in the Spor Toto Super League and PTT League One were first asked to buy the Passolig card and tickets were bought with this card.

The card will include the identity information of the supporter on one side and his or her photograph on the other.

Turkish supporter groups last month issued a declaration calling on football fans not to buy the e-tickets and boycott the games.

“The e-ticket system does not only demote the concept of supporters to a customer, but it also files all our private data,” said the declaration signed by over 40 supporter groups. “The system aims to prevent supporters from organizing and is designed to demolish stadium culture and supporter identity.”

Some clubs, including Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, had already refused to implement the system with only weeks left in the football season and faced punishment from the Turkish Football Federation. The clubs who started the system, such as Beşiktaş have seen their attendances drop dramatically.