PASIG CITY - The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) notes with significant concern and dismay the feedback that we have received over the sale of tickets for the home leg of the Philippines’ World CupTM Qualifying Tie against Kuwait.
There is nothing more that the PFF would like to see than to have every fan enjoy the match at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on July 28th. The fact of the matter, however, is that we only have a little fewer than 13,000 seats available at the venue. This compares to our estimate of ticket demand being over 10 times that number.
The PFF has made it a policy to democratize the availability of tickets for the home games of our Men’s National Team. This led to the decision to engage TicketWorld to sell the tickets given their broad reach and multiple modes for the sale of tickets. In previous matches prior to our game against Sri Lanka, ticket sales were handled by the PFF itself which turned out to be untenable. It is also the PFF’s policy to allocate the biggest block of tickets for public sale.
In relation to the sale of tickets last Saturday, PFF and Local Organizing Committee (LOC) staff were at some TicketWorld locations to monitor the start of ticket selling. LOC staff noted early on that in certain TicketWorld outlets, the transaction limit was not what had been directed by PFF to TicketWorld. This concern was immediately communicated to TicketWorld which then called the identified outlets to issue the proper directive.
The PFF also took note of complaints about some outlets selling more than the 10-ticket limit per transaction. Given the rapid rate by which the tickets were sold, the PFF and TicketWorld could not confirm the veracity of these complaints before the tickets ran out. 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.
The PFF has solicited the help of fan sites and media to help gather specific information as to the complaints regarding Saturday’s event.
The PFF recognizes the importance of our fans. We will continuously solicit and accept feedback from our fans as well as other parties to make sure that we are able to address issues, complaints and suggestions as a tool to continue to improve.
Given our experience in our previous match, we had reason to expect that the tickets that were made available for sale the other day would be sold out and sold out within a short period of time. There were three major factors not present in the previous experience that contributed to the way events unfolded last Saturday. The first is that the performance of our team in the first match undoubtedly encouraged more fans to want to watch the game at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Second, the atmosphere that people saw and felt while watching the first match on TV appear to have pushed more fans to want to watch the game live. Finally, tickets for this match were sold on a Saturday in contrast to the first match which was sold on a week day – Friday. This may have allowed more people to have the opportunity to buy tickets without having to take time off from work.
There remain a lot of allegations regarding “scalping”. It is unfortunate but there is not much that the PFF can do about this as there is no “anti-scalping” law in the Philippines. The best we could do was to limit the number of tickets sold to lessen the opportunity for unscrupulous buyers to accumulate tickets. The absence of a regulatory deterrent, however, makes this practice a legal, though highly objectionable, act.
The PFF and the LOC did allocate tickets for the following:
Players, coaches, team officials and their family members;
Local/Provincial Football Associations to make tickets available to those outside Metro Manila;
Corporate Sponsors and Donors;
the Kaholeros; and,
the Kuwait Football Association.
The total number of tickets allocated to all these groups combined is less than that made available to the public.
We should be able to determine the total number of tickets to be taken up by the Kuwait Football Association by next week and make available whatever is not taken up to the public. 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.
We, at the PFF, empathize with the disappointment of those who were not able to secure tickets. We share here a Facebook comment by Tom Balibag which we quote verbatim:
…so frustrating being outside the wall of Manila. kailangan mong dumaan sa butas nang buhok para lang makakuha nang ticket. do PFF know how it feels coming from outside Manila, be early, fall in line like a civilized person then end up nothing coupled with a simple reasons “naka hold po yung ticket or ubos na po” or urging you to buy the more expensive one available! get a life PFF, nandyan ang EDSA, talon kayo lahat dyan!
Mr. Balibag, we feel your frustration and your sense of indignation. We could say so much more to explain what we have done and what we are going to do but that will probably not change the way you feel now.
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 Philippine Football Federation