Ticket-hungry India fans baton-charged at World Cup – report

2011-03-08 09:34

Nagpur – Ticket-hungry fans, desperate to see India’s World Cup clash against South Africa on Saturday, were baton-charged by police as they queued, reports claimed today.

The clashes happened outside the Vidarbha Cricket Association ground, the venue for the Group B game, as police struggled to control the crowds, the CNN-IBN television station reported.

It is the second time at the World Cup that fans have been baton-charged.

Similar violent incidents took place in the run-up to the February 27 clash between India and England in Bangalore when fans queued overnight in the hope of securing one of the 7 000 tickets that were placed on general sale for that match.

Ticket sales and their allocation have caused a major rift between local organisers and the International Cricket Council.

The game’s rulers claim the system had pushed their relationship with their commercial backers to breaking point.

The choice of Mumbai for the April 2 final has also been controversial as the Wankhede Stadium only has a 33 000 capacity with 20 000 tickets going to clubs linked to the Mumbai Cricket Association and 8 500 to the ICC.

The remaining tickets, about 4 000, will be sold to the general public.

Reserved tickets not taken up by sponsors or guests for the semifinals and the final were to be sold by a public ballot online.

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