Olympic bosses have defended a deal which will see holders of non-Visa debit and credit cards unable to book tickets for the London 2012 Games.
The deal, which forms part of Visa’s sponsorship of the Games, has been criticised by Which? who said it was “outrageous that some UK sports fans should be discriminated against in this way.”
Chief Executive Peter Vicary-Smith called on Olympic organisers “to take steps to ensure there’s a level playing field and that UK consumers have equal access to the Games, whether or not they are Visa cardholders. If it doesn’t, we’ll call on the Government to step in.”
In March members of the London Assembly wrote to the London Organising Committee highlighting concerns on a number of issues including the methods open to Londoners and visitors to pay for tickets.
A spokesmane for London 2012 said: “Visa will be the official card and payment system for London 2012, in the same way as for the Beijing Games in 2008 and the Vancouver Games earlier this year. Visa has been a top partner for 24 years, so this is not new.”
It’s been reported that only Visa cards will be able to be used at shops and cash machines at Olympic venues.
UK competition authority the Office of Fair Trading says it’s “currently in discussion” with the European Commission “about what action, if any, should be taken.”