19 July 2011

Demand for Azkals tickets surge 10 times

ORGANIZERS of the 2014 World Cup qualifying match between the Philippines and Kuwait on July 28 said they are now looking into complaints on supposed irregular distribution of tickets over the weekend.

Less than 13,000 tickets that were up for grabs last Saturday quickly disappeared after demand outpaced supply by at least 10 times, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) said.

Owing to increased demand, unverified reports said that some outlets of PFF's official partner TicketWorld sold beyond the 10-ticket limit per customer.

Though the concern was immediately remedied by ordering the outlets to stick to the agreement, it remains a puzzle as to how many transactions went beyond the prescribed limit.

"The PFF has, however, asked TicketWorld to check their transaction records to trace these transactions, if any. The PFF will look into the circumstances of these incidents and will consider invalidating these transactions should these be warranted," it said in a statement.

As of Tuesday, TicketWorld officials were unavailable for comment. The PFF turned to media and fan sites in soliciting feedback with regard to the ticket distribution.

The PFF also admitted that it was helpless when it comes to apprehending scalpers, who buy tickets to sold-out events and resell them at exorbitant prices. The Philippines has no law prohibiting scalping.

"All we can promise is that we will continue to work at fixing what needs to be fixed knowing that we will never be fully able to please everyone. That will not, however, stop us from trying," the PFF said without elaborating.

As fans batted for more tickets, the PFF said it can only sell whatever is not taken up by the Kuwait Football Association next week.

"We will also try to ask our sponsors and donors to make available some of the tickets allocated to them to the public. It is hoped that these two actions will allow the PFF to make even more tickets available to our fans," the group explained.

Meantime, the organization gave three reasons why people have become more interested to see the Azkals play once more at the refurbished Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

First on the list was the 4-0 domination (5-1 on aggregate) of the Azkals over the Sri Lanka Brave Reds last July 3.

Some 13,000 people trooped to the venue to see the Nationals prey on their lowly opponents and book a seat to the second round for the first time since the Philippines joined the tournament six decades ago.

Gross receipts from tickets alone reached P11 million, according to PFF president Mariano "Nonong" Araneta.

Second is the festive atmosphere that people saw and felt while watching the match on television and lastly, tickets for the game were sold on a Saturday, which allowed more people to buy tickets without having to take time off from work.

The Azkals are currently in Bahrain, where they lost two tune-up games last Saturday and Monday against the the Under-23 Olympic team. (Sunnex)

Sun Star Manila

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