Friday, April 04, 2014

Hello industrial football

Got a friend in town and want to take her to the footy? Maybe your son wants to take a friend to a match. Relatives are visiting and want to experience what it is like to have real singing in a stadium. Maybe you just read this blog now and then and decide on one lovely sunny day, "Bugger it. I'm going to the footy this afternoon!"

Well, you can all get stuffed because the government are introducing a new e-ticketing procedure called Passolig. Without a Passolig card you will not be able to get into the stadium for matches in the Super Lig and the 1st Division. For the moment you Ankaragucu fans are fine... just don't get promoted.

From the Passolig website:
With the new regulation which will put into force as of 14 April 2014 paper tickets will no longer be used and fans will enter the stadiums with PASSOLİG Card. With this new card system, tickets will not be printed and the information on matches will be uploaded to electronic tickets. This will enable a more speedy entrance to games, without waiting in queues.
The match tickets of sports fans who own PASSOLİG Card will be uploaded to their cards automatically. Season tickets will also be uploaded to PASSOLİG Cards. The information on and all details of the match will be sent to the e-mail addresses and mobile phones of the card holders. The card holders will also be able to print-out their ticket (information*) on the mobile terminals which will be installed in the stadiums. In short, PASSOLİG Card holders will have an easy access to all sorts of detailed information about the uploaded matches.
* I added the word information as they seem to have mistranslated. You won't need to print out tickets at home or on these fancy mobile terminals. 

Okay, so basically to go to a match you will have to have a card that is similar to a season ticket card that many of us already have. You casual fans are a bit stuffed though.

Apparently there are lots of benefits to having a Passolig card. Let's take a look at the "Advantages of Passolig" page.
No waiting in queues in front of the stadiums.
Except for that queue at the actual gate.
Enjoy watching a match safely and comfortably with your acquaintances on your own seat, away from all the negativity.
It's the negativity and the standing that I like! Also make sure your acquaintances have Passolig cards.
Benefit from pre-match stadium activities and have a chance to win free tickets and promotions.
If pre-match activities includes free beer down in Kizilay, I'm all for it! Free tickets? I already buy mine. Promotions? Refer to beer.
Easily access licensed products of your favourite team at home and abroad. 
When I'm abroad I often have this sort of conversation with Mrs Oz Kanka.

Me: You know what London/New York/Paris/Wagga Wagga really needs?
Mrs Oz Kanka: Friendly cultural respect for foreigners?
Me: No. What they need here is somewhere to buy a Genclerbirligi scarf. And not just any scarf you can buy for 10tl down at the stadium, but an official licenced scarf at four times the price!
No need to another card for your transportations.
This is pretty good as you won't have to line up to get tickets for the metro or buses or what not. One slight hassle is that this has not yet been introduced for cities including Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Adana, Konya, Eskisehir, Diyarbakir, Trabzon etc etc. It will be good though for when we happen to be in Gaziantep, Kayseri, Kütahya, Düzce or Aksaray.    
Use your PASSOLİG Card in the cafes and buffets in the stadiums without having to carry money in your pocket. No need to worry about coin change being taken by security before you enter the stadium.
It is true that I often forget to put money in my pocket. I don't have any hassles with losing coins though as I have a 10-year-old mule for that purpose.

So despite my lack of enthusiasm some of you may want to continue to go to the football and now you want to know how do you get your free card.

Well firstly, it isn't free. The card will cost 15tl. This is to increase every year with inflation. According to an article in Klasspor, 40 percent of this will go to the clubs, 5 percent to the TFF and Aktif Bank, who are running the system, gets to keep 55 percent.

By the way, it is just a pure coincidence that Calik Holding that owns Aktif Bank has extremely close relations with certain people.    

Aktif Bank probably won't make that much money out of the yearly fee, but they will hold something much more valuable, they will have all the details of every football fan in the land. And in the name of offering us "promotions" our mobile phone message folders and e-mail accounts will be forever spammed.

There are three types of bank cards that you can choose from (none is not an option). They are the normal bank cards - debit, pre-paid or credit card.  

Whenever you sign a deal with a bank it always comes with a 27-page terms of use agreement that nobody has ever read. To save you having to even think about ignoring the Passolig terms of use, I decided just now to take a look.

Oh look... that was quick. Section 2 is the official "you agree to get spammed by anyone Aktif Bank damn well like" section.
By accepting the Terms of Use, you accept that the personal information you provide may be shared with Aktif Bank’s affiliates, companies in the same group, Turkish Soccer Federation, associated program partners or contracted institutions; and that electronic messages of a commercial nature concerning marketing activities regarding products and services provided by Aktif Bank or the aforementioned institutions, including promotions, advertisements, commercials, campaigns, announcements, etc., may be transmitted to you by electronic mail, telephone, mobile phone (SMS), fax, letter, printed materials, and similar methods.   
Don't worry though because the very next section states:
Aktif Bank shall not disclose personal information to third parties except for the circumstances set forth in the Terms of Use. 
Number nine is a nice one which seemingly bans this blog post. Lucky I haven't actually accepted the terms of use yet.
Use of the information supplied in the Site, including reproduction, translation to another language, storage or processing, is subject to Aktif Bank’s prior written permission. Therefore, information published on the Site may not be reproduced, published, copied, amended, derivative works may not be created, provided and/or transmitted without Aktif Bank’s written permission. All or part of the Site may not be used without permission on another internet site, and links may not be provided to the Site.        
It doesn't matter how much I blather on about it here. We are going to have to get these cards at some stage. On the Gencler site it says that season tickets for this year will not require a Passolig card, but that no paper tickets will be sold as of April 14. For next year, we will have to get them.

I'm not sure how it is going to work out for all. My son doesn't have a mobile phone. Does that mean he isn't allowed to go to the footy anymore?


  1. Great rant sir. And excellent research into a scam that looks as annoying and badly designed as feared.

  2. You probably won't believe this, but .............. I'm speechless !!!