Dispute over lack of World Cup posters in Panini forces government to intervene in Argentina

A row over a shortage of World Cup trading cards has forced the government to step in in Argentina with collectors angered by the lack of stickers, which has sent demand for a Messi copy soaring to £450.

  • Argentina World Cup posters have risen in popularity ahead of the tournament
  • Desperate collectors lined up outside local stalls to buy packages
  • But the small sellers struggled to reach them due to the huge demand
  • The Argentine government held a meeting between the parties to find a solution

World Cup poster collectors have been left outraged in Argentina by a perceived shortage of trading cards in the country, which has led to government intervention.

With the Football Championship less than two months away, the demand for the poster set for the competition has peaked all over the world as fans are desperately searching for their favorite players as well as wanting to complete an entire album.

But passion for the collection peaked in Argentina, where a huge demand for posters meant the government had to mediate between newsstands and the collection’s producer, Panini, due to perceived shortages.

News platforms proliferated in Panini, accusing them of profiting from other areas of sales including supermarkets, gas stations and even online at their expense, leaving them unable to order new packages for sale.

This has resulted in local vendors selling out their supply of the hugely popular range within hours, and having to deal with exasperated customers who are angry due to the lack of available packages.

Some shopkeepers even reported that angry fans “tried to smash their stalls” in frustration at not being able to purchase the posters.

The packs contain five unknown stickers, with 20 stickers in each of the 32 countries, mainly players, to produce an album of nearly 700 stickers in total. In the UK, packs sell for about 90p each.

Posters for the 2022 World Cup were in great demand this year in Argentina

But collectors were frustrated by the apparent lack of trading cards for sale

But collectors were frustrated by the apparent lack of trading cards for sale

Such is the scale of the problem, the Argentine Ministry of Trade has shown on its Twitter account an attempt to solve the label crisis by obtaining representation from the sellers and the Argentine Panini group to solve the problem.

They published a statement saying: “The meeting began to assess the situation in the World Cup sculpture market. From ComercioArg, we open a channel of dialogue between ukraok and PaniniArg, making our legal and technical teams available to collaborate in the search for possible solutions.

Sportsmail has contacted Panini for comment.

People wait in line to buy stickers from a booth that just got new stock in Argentina

People wait in line to buy stickers from a booth that just got new stock in Argentina

A banner displaying the Panini collection posters relating to the Qatar 2022 World Cup hangs in a store.  The sign reads in Spanish "Buy What You're Missing, Shopping Cart

A banner displaying the Panini collection posters relating to the Qatar 2022 World Cup hangs in a store. The sign in Spanish reads “Buy what you missed, shopping cart

There were huge queues in Argentina displaying visual demand for cherished trading cards and this was probably boosted by this probably Lionel Messi’s last World Cup as well as an increase in support for the national team after his recent success in the Copa America.

Thus, Argentina’s hopes of winning the World Cup for the first time since Diego Maradona lifted the trophy in 1986 rose.

The value of the team’s posters will likely increase if they continue all the way in Qatar later this year.

Lionel Messi's son Mateo smiles happily after receiving his father's poster

Lionel Messi’s son Mateo smiles happily after receiving his father’s poster

Many desperate collectors have turned to the black market to try to get access to the posters they need, and South American versions of a Lionel Messi poster have fetched demands of up to £450 on auction site Ebay.

One collector who won’t need to pay a premium for a Messi poster is his son Mathieu.

Messi’s wife Antonella Roccuzzo shared a photo on social media of their son proudly holding a photo of his father wearing a fake Argentina shirt, ready to be hung in the poster album.

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