It’s a queer case of coins. On one hand, like paper, handkerchief and coins are classified as ‘restricted items’ here! But at the same time, the food and beverage stalls inside the stadium are ‘flouting’ the same without any concern for the ‘security’.
Order a burger from one of the outlets here and chances are you will get back a few coins as change along with the food neatly wrapped in a plastic sheet of paper. Isn’t it ironic!
For avid coin collectors, the gates at the National Stadium are a paradise. A huge pile of metal currencies is piled on several tables.
Coins of almost every participating country can be found here. “There is always a chance that people throw them at players,” is a security official’s polite explanation.
Hockey enthusiasts obviously, have not taken this too kindly.
“I have never seen a place or an event where you cannot carry your own currency,” said V.K. Aneja, a lawyer who had come to see the matches on Wednesday.
Ana Marquet of Canada shared the same thought as she gave in four dollars in loose change.
“It is not about the money. The security concern over such items is something I have never seen before,” she said. Marquet had to also give up a newspaper she was carrying and was told that she could collect them later.
An organising official, however, said: “It is common practice before any sporting event of such magnitude.”
He said people were allowed to return and collect their belongings.