Argentina and Australia’s national soccer teams are scheduled to have a friendly match in Beijing, China on the 15th, and the organizers set the ticket price at a maximum of 880,000 won, causing controversy.
According to APF News on the 2nd, the Argentine national soccer team will face the Australian national soccer team on the 15th at 9:00 pm Korean time at the Beijing Certified Gymnasium, China.
In particular, Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria participated in this match, drawing attention. It is the first time Messi has visited China since 2017.
The organizers plan to sell tickets twice on the 5th and 8th. Ticket prices range from 580 to 4800 yuan (approximately 100,000 to 880,000 won) depending on the seat. The 580 yuan seat covers only two zones, while the 4800 yuan seat covers 38 zones. The Beijing Certified Gymnasium can accommodate a total of 68,000 people.
A user on China’s Weibo posted a comment on the organizer’s official account, saying, “I’m reporting you as a robber.”
Another user said, “The ticket price itself is outrageous. That day is not even a holiday, but you have to cover vacation and absence expenses, plane tickets to Beijing and hotel expenses. With that money, you can go to Europe to watch the game and ask for an autograph.”
What is the difference between this “3800 yuan seat” and watching it on TV at home? Besides, if you want to buy even this spot from a scalper, you will have to pay three times as much money,” he wrote.
In addition, on Weibo, “The market determines the value. Demand creates high prices. It becomes a business when someone pays for it. Just watch it in front of the TV” and other criticisms followed.
Earlier, Australia faced Argentina in the round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and lost 2-1.
It is interpreted that Australia is participating in this friendly match to improve relations with China, which has been strained in recent years, and Argentina to seek financial incentives in trade with China.
The New York Times (NYT) reported on the news of the rematch and said, “This shows that sports confrontation extends beyond sports,” and that “political and economic ties between countries can be strengthened.”
“Playing against world champions Argentina reflects Australia’s stature in world football and the respect the top nations have for both national teams,” said Australian Football Federation President James Johnson.
“Australia have been invited to play this match in China and we hope to see more opportunities open up for the two countries to work together on and off the pitch against the world number one.”
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.