Saru president Mark Alexander has cautioned South African rugby supporters against buying illegal tickets for the much-anticipated British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2021.
Alexander said: ‘Don’t buy tickets until you get official confirmation from the South African Rugby Union and the British & Irish Lions that the ballot is launched. Any tickets being sold now are illegal and tickets being sold now don’t exist.’
The Lions, who tour South Africa once every 12 years, will play eight matches, including a three-Test series against the world champion Springboks.
Alexander reinforced to all rugby fans the protocols around ticket registration and purchase.
‘Please register online at www.lionstour2021.co.za through the official channels,’ he said. ‘Registration confirms interest and at a later stage only those who have officially registered qualify for the ballot, in which the ticket requests are made.
‘It has been brought to my attention that people have bought tickets. Unfortunately, these tickets are illegal. No tickets have gone on sale for the British & Irish Lions’ eight matches. There was an agreement between the South African Rugby Union and the Lions to postpone the ballot process [and sale of tickets] because of Covid-19.
‘The delay in launching the ballot does not stop the registration process and we constantly are encouraging supporters to register interest for the matches in South Africa. The ballot, originally scheduled for April, will in all probability go live in September, where ticket requests can officially be made.’
World Rugby is expected to announce changes to the global international season, which has been disrupted because of Covid-19.
Alexander, as he has done on several occasions, emphasised that the British & Irish Lions would definitely tour South Africa in 2021 and the only change could be a shift in dates. The tour is scheduled to start in July, but it may be that the start is a month or two later.
Registration works as follows: Once your registration is complete, an automated email will be delivered for account activation. Correspondence will be sent to the registered user, advising the ballot process timelines.
Alexander, in explaining the ballot system, said it was one used in all global major sporting events and that it was the fairest method of obtaining tickets.
‘All applications will be processed equally. Registration and entry into the ticket ballot will not automatically entitle you to match-day tickets, but rather place you into a draw. After the ticket ballot application phase has been completed the draw will take place by a computerised selection process and you will be notified of the outcome of the ballot and whether you have been successful in securing your preferred tickets.’
For more ticket information, contact [email protected]