'IOA trying hard to sort out tickets issue'
An acute scarcity of London Olympic Games tickets has had the Indian Olympic Association acting president, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, looking for ways to find a quick solution to the vexing issue. HT reports.india Updated: Jul 17, 2012 23:08 IST
An acute scarcity of London Olympic Games tickets has had the Indian Olympic Association acting president, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, looking for ways to find a quick solution to the vexing issue.
For the first time, the IOA is grappling with this problem on such a large scale, with the London Olympic Games Organising Committee (LOCOG) providing just 20 tickets for the opening and 40 for the closing ceremony, and a total of 400 tickets for all disciplines during the fortnight long mega event.
"We have been looking for alternatives and also urging the Games' organisers to give us some more tickets," said Malhotra, adding that with such a "miniscule number of tickets, it's impossible to please everyone, including government, IOA observers, state government delegates, Indian High Commission officials, national and state federation officials," said Malhotra.
"Luckily, four National Olympic Committee (NOC) guest passes have been issued to us and we are trying to adjust officials and coaches who could not make it as part of the contingent but their presence is necessary," said Malhotra. "The four passes will be rotated among federation officials and coaches," he said.
The Indian contingent, consisting of 81 athletes and about 40 coaches and support staff, would be staying at the Games Village, while those holding the tickets will have to make their arrangements.
"There was some hope as two companies were entrusted with the task (by the organisers) to sell tickets in India, but they are giving it as a package deal, while we wanted them at face value," said the veteran sports administrator.
"The situation has come to such a pass that designated former sporting greats might not get to be a part of the opening and closing ceremonies. They could also miss the marquee events," said Malhotra, adding, "We have told the organisers that they cannot treat a populous country like India in this way."
However, the IOA has hit upon a way to circumvent the problem. "Every athlete can purchase two tickets. Those who cannot afford or who do not want to buy the expensive tickets will buy it on our behalf and we will transfer them to those wanting to witness the Games," said Malhotra.
On another issue, the IOA acting president said only six officials would be allowed to take part in the opening ceremony. "Everyone wants to be a celebrity, but we have to draw the line somewhere," he said.