JAKARTA: Indonesian officials vowed to crack down on excessive VIP seating and illegal re-selling Friday at the Asian Games, where ticketing chaos has left angry fans unable to attend even as thousands of seats remain empty.
The Olympic Council of Asia complained to Indonesian organisers over the number of vacant seats at venues, instructing them to reduce the number of places reserved for officials after VIP allocations reached as high as 40 percent in some arenas.
“This is causing a great deal of confusion and does not look good on the broadcasting when there are empty seats,” the OCA said in a letter to the organising committee.
Hundreds of people have been left queueing for hours in the heat for Asian Games tickets, while fans have lashed out after difficulties booking tickets online.
Organisers switched to new e-commerce company Blibli on the eve of the games after its original online vendor’s server broke down.
Francis Wanandi, deputy head of Games organising committee INASGOC, told reporters two additional sites would now be selling tickets after complaints that tickets were still not accessible online.
But each would have its own allotted quota, meaning buyers may need to visit all three in some cases, he said.
Some tickets which appeared to be sold out on the new vendors’ sites would become available after being transferred from the old server in “one or two days”.
“There were some glitches in our system, therefore we made some corrections,” he said.
“Because of logistics issues, the new vendors have only been appointed, they need to prepare things.”
The move to e-ticketing would also help to tackle the problem of ticket touts, but no laws exist to ban scalping altogether, Wanandi said.
“The authorities have warned them not to be at the locations, but there are no laws which can imprison them,” he said.
“But we try to prevent them from making a transaction in the venues. So we try to minimise them.”
The Asian Games opened last Saturday, although the first events began August 10. The regional Olympics, being hosted in Jakarta and Palembang, will close September 2. —AFP