Ticket touts delighted with Euro2008 results

Euro 2008 has been a fantastic success, according to the touts who have made hefty profits by ignoring UEFA rules on the resale of match tickets, reports The Guardian.

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Touts have been highly visible at the train stations and town centres of the eight Swiss and Austrian host cities, openly buying and selling tickets despite warnings from organisers UEFA of a crackdown against black-market sales.

"I came over specifically from the States to do this," said one American tout offering semi-final tickets.

The tout, who would not give his name, was one of at least 50 men standing in Basel's main train station with signs around their necks offering to buy or sell tickets.

"I've sold tickets at the World Cup, the Olympics and the Superbowl and business here has been as good as any of them. I haven't seen anyone at all being challenged by the authorities, though I heard there were some tickets confiscated in Zurich."

When it comes to general black-market sales, police in Switzerland say they are powerless to stop the touts.

"We have very liberal laws when it comes to people selling items to other people in the streets," Berne's regional police commandant Stefan Blaettler told Reuters.

"You need a licence if you want to set up something like a market stall but otherwise you can sell just about anything you like. Even if we could act against ticket touts, we have had more than enough work handling the large crowds of supporters."

A Vienna police spokesman told Reuters that Austria had stricter laws forbidding people from selling on tickets at a price higher than its original face value.

The spokesman acknowledged, though, the police had no time to chase after touts and no arrests had yet been made over ticket sales.

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