FIFA president Italian Gianni Infantino / AFP PHOTO / ALFREDO ESTRELLA

The governing body of global football, Fifa, on Tuesday said they had filed a criminal complaint against the secondary ticketing firm Viagogo’s sale of 2018 World Cup tickets.

This has opened a new battle between sports organisations and websites seeking a share of their profits.

Fifa says in a statement that “as part of its efforts to protect the fans and prevent unauthorised ticket resales for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, Fifa filed a criminal complaint on 4 June 2018 based on a breach of the law on unfair competition against Viagogo AG with the public prosecutor’s office in Geneva.”

It added that “over the past months, Fifa has received numerous complaints from individuals, consumer protection bodies and other market players over the opaque and deceptive business conduct of Viagogo AG.”

According to the body, in seeking legal action, it was joining other sports bodies, including European football confederation, Uefa, which has previously taken Viagogo to court.

“Fifa reminds all fans that FIFA.com/tickets is the only official and legitimate website on which to buy 2018 Fifa World Cup tickets,” the statement further said.