Updated: April 29, 2015 11:55:22 am
If you are an Indian passport holder and planning to witness next year’s Rio Olympics first hand, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) might just have ended your hopes. At a time when the country was hatching grand plans to bid for the Games, the federation seems to have overlooked one of its basic responsibilities — secure tickets for an Indian fan.The tickets for the Olympic Games are sold online via an Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) appointed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for every country. The ATR can either be a National Olympic Committee (NOC) or an agency nominated by the country. It’s a general practice, followed at all Olympics and a few other multi-discipline events.
India, however, seems to have missed the bus for Rio 2016. The list of ATR’s released by the IOC does not feature India, as it is learnt that the IOA missed the September 2014 deadline to sign the Ticket Sales Agreement with the IOC and Local Organising Committee of the Rio Olympic games. This means that Indian fans will have little chance of procuring tickets for the Games, unless IOA or the National Sports Federations part with their own quota. The ATR’s of other countries cannot sell tickets outside their region.
The reasons for IOA missing the deadline are unknown. Curiously, several IOA members The Indian Express spoke to were unaware of the procedure while a few others indicated it wasn’t financially viable to purchase tickets in bulk from the IOC and then resell it in the Indian market.
“A lot of tickets we purchased from the Local Organising Committee for the previous Games were left unsold. These tickets are expensive and we incurred substantial losses,” an official said, adding they are in talks with the IOC to work out a solution.
The IOA was authorised by the organisers to sell tickets for the London Games, along with all other past Games. The official added they have asked the national federations to confirm their quota of tickets. However, it is unlikely that the IOA or the federations will part with their share, usually reserved for federation officials and their guests.
“We had sent a mail to the federations long time back, asking them to inform us the number of tickets they would require. We have to make the payment for those tickets latest by April 30 but only a handful of them have replied yet,” the official said.
About 7.5 million tickets have been put on sale for the Games, which are scheduled to be held from August 5 to 21 next year. Some 70 per cent of the tickets for the first Games to be held in South America will be reserved for residents of Brazil while around one million more will be distributed abroad via the ATR’s.
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