Franz Beckenbauer, head of the 2006 World Cup organising committee, has acknowledged the difficulty of distributing tickets for the tournament, especially since the advent of online ticket touts.

The 3.2 million tickets go on sale to the public on February 1 2005 via FIFA’s official World Cup site, but Beckenbauer acknowledges that demand will outstrip supply which in turn could create a market for forged tickets.

“This is perhaps the most difficult task we will face,” said Beckenbauer on Monday.

“I only have to think how often I have been asked about tickets to recognise that demand will outstrip supply.”

Horst R. Schmidt, vice-president of the organising committe, is worried that fans will still use unofficial outlets to purchase tickets.

“We want to stop fans being duped by fake offers,” explained Schmidt. “We can only warn supporters not to use unofficial internet providers.

“Anyone who chooses to use an unofficial site risks wasting their money as they will be turned down on matchday.”

The World Cup begins on June 9 with hosts Germany opening the first match in Munich.