FIFA U-17 World Cup: Not ‘sold out’ ! Tickets put back on sale in Kochi
The FIFA U-17 World Cup games in Kochi has witnessed ticket sales to the general public well below the stadium capacity and this has prompted the Local Organising Committee to put tickets back on sale.Updated: Oct 12, 2017 17:37 IST
The FIFA U-17 World Cup was supposed to be the tournament that would showcase Kochi’s immense love for football to the rest of the world. The venue for both the opening two match days of the FIFA U-17 World Cup had tickets sold out well before time.
At least, that is what the organisers had claimed. As Hindustan Times had reported on Sunday, the tickets put on sale to the general public had been well below the capacity of the stadium.
While 29,200 is the official capacity of the ground, the first match at this venue, between Brazil and Spain, saw a crowd of 21,362, while the second game between Niger and North Korea was attended by 2754 fans.
The interest further dipped in the second match day, despite tickets being ‘sold out’. Spain vs Niger saw an attendance of 7926, while 15,314 were there to witness Brazil’s 2-0 win over North Korea.
Depite earlier claims by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel, Local Organising Committee (LOC) chief Javier Ceppi had admitted to Hindustan Times that there were several parties, including sponsors and other stakeholders of the tournament, who had been handed tickets for the matches.
Most of these tickets, as attendances have shown, haven’t been utilised, and in order to save face, organisers have once again put on sale tickets for the remaining three match days in Kochi, despite these games being earlier shown as ‘sold out’.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Kerala Football Association (KFA) president KMI Mather said the local federation had no role in the matter, adding that ‘the KFA does not know anything’ about the number of tickets which had been put on sale again.
While it is not yet known as to how many tickets have been put on sale since Wednesday evening, both online and offline modes of buying tickets are being made available to the fans.
When asked, officials of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) remained tight-lipped on the reissue of tickets in the southernmost venue of the tournament.
Earlier, LOC chief Javier Ceppi had made the following statement to Hindustan Times on queries about the volume of tickets being sold in Kochi:
“All the tickets that have been put up for sale, are the maximum number of tickets that can be sold at each venue discounting below mentioned commitments. When a venue appears sold out, it reflects the position of tickets that have been put out for sale. Discounting the contractual obligations with the Hosting Association, all the participating teams, all the 13 commercial partners of the Tournament, the host broadcaster, the signatories of host city, stadium and training site agreements and other stakeholders with which there are contracts with regards to the Tournament, to provide tickets.”
After two group games on Friday, Kochi will host a Round of 16 match on October 18 and a quarterfinal on October 22.