No black market tickets in SA

2012-06-30 19:59

Agents in more than 50 countries are selling illegal tickets for the London Olympic Games

The recent Olympic Games ticket scandal that rocked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) luckily has no negative bearing on South Africa.

The IOC is currently investigating allegations that authorised agents in more than 50 countries were selling tickets on the black market.

However, South African Sports Confederation and Olympic committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam said: “We don’t deal with tickets at Sascoc.

“The general public had to purchase their tickets through Fli-Afrika, who were appointed by Sascoc as the official travel agent for the London Olympics.”

Fli-Afrika’s managing director Nazeer Camaroodeen said there was no chance of selling tickets on the black market as South Africa had “a very limited number” allocated by the Olympics organisers.

Sam said the allocations were determined based on the sizes of the teams at previous Olympics.

South Africa had 136 athletes at the Beijing Games in 2008; 106 in Athens, Greece, in 2004; and 127 in Sydney, Australia, in 2000.

“It will be difficult for families, sponsors and VIPs to go to the Olympics as tickets are very limited,” said Camaroodeen, adding that South Africa received its allocation long before the scandal was uncovered by Britain’s Sunday Times two weeks ago.

Camaroodeen said only 80 tickets were available for the opening ceremony and were snapped up by the lucky few who bought packages almost two years ago.

“We have had over 3 000 enquiries across the different sporting codes, including the opening and closing ceremonies.

“We don’t have many for swimming as we have only about 20 tickets per session,” said Camaroodeen.

Another event in high demand is the swimming finals.

Camaroodeen, whose company has been selling packages since 1988, said the only other way of securing tickets now was if there were cancellations, as those tickets “were returned to the pool”.

» The Games run from July 27 until August 12.

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