'I've waited for hours' - anger at Asian Games ticket chaos

AFP , Tuesday 21 Aug 2018

Hundreds of people were left furious Tuesday after queueing for hours in the heat for Asian Games tickets -- and then being told there were none left.

Some fans screamed in anger when told many of the events had sold out, in what was just the latest problem surrounding tickets at the Games in Indonesia.

Fans have also lashed out after difficulties booking tickets online. Organisers switched to a new ticketing website last week after the previous site crashed.

On Tuesday, a queue dozens of metres (yards) long formed at a booth at Jakarta's Gelora Bung Karno stadium. Awang, 67, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said he had been queuing since 8:00 am.

"I want to buy badminton tickets for me and my wife," Awang told AFP. "We don't know whether there are any left, I hope so otherwise I would collapse.

"I've waited here in the heat for hours."

One problem is that the booths do not sell advance tickets, meaning that fans have to queue up on the day. Many people were furious when told at midday that their event had sold out.

"There are not just Indonesians here queuing, also foreigners. Don't embarrass us (Indonesia). Just open more counters," one man shouted.

Asian Games tickets can be bought online via e-commerce company Blibli, after organisers switched from KiosTix following a server breakdown. But many tickets were sold out online.

Some spectators were approached by scalpers who sold tickets at twice their face value.

Eris Heriyanto, secretary general of INASGOC, the Games' organising committee, said he wasn't aware of the ticketing issues.

"Today is the day where the integrated ticketing system starts to take over (from Kiostix to Blibli), perhaps the long queues are because of that," he told AFP.

The Asian Games will see about 17,000 athletes and officials from 45 Asian countries in host cities Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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