Black market ticket sales for Rugby World Cup 2015 are "inevitable" claims the tournament's head Alan Gilpin, however, organisers say they are well prepared to deal with the issue.
Although a "disappointment", Gilpin explained that there was "a degree of inevitability" that such activity would take place during one of the biggest sporting events on the international calendar and emphasised that organisers are prepared to tackle the issue head on.
"I think it's fair to say as well that there is a degree of inevitability about that issue," he told reporters today at The Lensbury hotel in London.
"The Rugby World Cup is a big event and there are a limited amount of tickets for the very high demand matches.
"Disappointed yes, prepared for it, also yes."
Gilpin was also quick to highlight the fact that tickets do not actually physically exist yet, meaning organisers have time to deal with the issue and also educate their customer base about buying tickets from official websites.
"At this point the secondary ticket selling sites are speculating at getting access to those tickets," he said.
"Those tickets don't exist yet; they can't possibly have those tickets.
"So there's a part of that which is about us educating our supporter base about buying from an official site."
On steps taken to tackle the issue, Gilpin added that Rugby World Cup Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the International Rugby Board (IRB) established for the purpose of tournament delivery, and England 2015 are working with the police, Trading Standards and others to "make sure that we minimise the amount of activity that put the consumers in the position to buy the wrong things from the wrong sources".
"Whether that's tickets, whether that's hospitality or travel packages or whether that's merchandise, you want to make sure that people understand to go to the official source to buy them."
Brett Gosper, chief executive of the IRB, who was also here at The Lensbury, added that the delay from purchasing tickets and them being actually delivered also gives organisers the chance to clamp down on any illegal activity.
"There's quite a delay from when the tickets are ordered to the dispatching about nine months on from the peak selling period, so there's the ability to manage issues as we go forward," said Gosper.
"What seems spectacular now, I think our ability to manage and control the activity is actually quite strong."
Rugby World Cup Limited and England 2015 both had conversations with the Government in an effort to bring in legislation that could make black market ticket activity more difficult, however, no such legislation was brought in due to issues surrounding free trade.
"We're disappointed that we didn't get the legislation that we'd liked to have had at the time but at the same time there are a lot of things in place to help the monitoring of that activity and to ensure people that through education, education, education they will go through the official sites and buy from official sites," explained Gosper.
Legislation of this kind was procured ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in order to fight secondary ticket resales, although this was given as special discretion by the British Government.
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