News item

Football fans to get a fair result during UEFA 2008

This month sees the end of the Football Season in the UK but with the FA cup over, there is still the UEFA 2008 tournament to look forward to.

Many footie fans will be making the journey to Austria and Switzerland to watch some live football despite England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland failing to qualify for UEFA 2008.

The European Commission wants to make sure that the 5 million fans from across Europe that are travelling to matches get a fair deal. UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations and the European Union have teamed up to launch a hotline and websiteSupporters Rights especially for consumers who experience difficulties when travelling to matches.

This hotline which will be available in all the official European Union languages will be free from Austria (charges may apply for mobiles and calls from hotels) and aims to offer advice to common travel related problems such as the consumer's rights when their flights are delayed and cancelled, their luggage is lost or they are sold counterfeit goods. The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) estimates that criminal gain from the sale of counterfeit goods is around £1.3 billion a year in the UK alone.

Consumers may not realise that the European Union has made certain rules such as:

  • The cost of making a cross border EU mobile phone call should not cost more than 49 cents (around 39 pence) per minute to make a call and 24 cents (around 19 pence) to receive a call.
  • A 2-year minimum guarantee period applies throughout the EU so any football souvenirs you buy should be of a satisfactory quality and if they develop the fault then the trader needs to offer a free repair or replacement.
  • If your flight is cancelled you may be entitled to compensation.

EU Consumer Commissioner Meglana Kuneva has stated that 'As an EU Citizen you have very strong consumer rights. We want fans to have the best possible experience when they travel to Euro 2008. This campaign is about giving people practical consumer advice'. If you come home and discover that the shirt or scarf you bought was counterfeit or faulty then speak to the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) which is hosted by TSI. Ron Gainsford the Chief Executive of TSI says, 'If you need advice or assistance with any cross-border purchase problems then the UK ECC is here to help you get what's fair'.

So if you need an instant replay of your consumer rights and entitlements under European Union law during this summer's tournament then call freephone 00800 6 7 8 9 10 11 from Austria and other EU member states or 32 2 299 96 96 (costs apply) from Switzerland and rest of the world.

A leaflet is also available listing ten things you should know before the tournament.

If before or after the tournament you have any questions relating to cross border purchases then you should contact the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) on 08456 04 05 03. The UK ECC website UK ECC also contains information on your consumer rights.

Notes to Editors

  • The supporters hotline is available for the month of June between 0900 and 1830 (Monday to Friday CET).

The leaflet detailing 10 rights you should know is downloadable from