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Rediff.com  » Sports » Unprecedented demand for accreditations leaves IOA in a fix

Unprecedented demand for accreditations leaves IOA in a fix

July 06, 2012 19:56 IST

Indian Olympic Association has been left in a fix due to unprecedented demand for accreditations and tickets for London Olympics from various quarters, including ministers from various states and sports ministry officials.

Requests have been pouring in from politicians, bureaucrats, officials of various sports federations who want to be in London during the multi-sport mega event which starts on July 27.

"It is a very tight situation. It is just not possible to fulfill the demands of all the ministers, bureaucrats and sports officials. The accreditations are not in our hands and tickets are very expensive," an IOA official said.

Another senior official said that London Games organizers were acting tough with all the NOCs and not prepared to make any exception for any country.

"They are refusing to play favorite to any particular NOC," he said.

The sports ministry, sources said, had asked for around 130 tickets for the Games from IOA. In return, it received only 41 from the IOA, which said it was hard pressed to release more tickets.

Besides the demand for tickets from public, there is also pressure from chief ministers and ministers of various states along with their delegations to provide them accreditations and tickets for which they are willing to pay.

"To add to the IOA's woes is (that) sports ministry has directed to all those officials and politicians interested to watch the Games that they should contact IOA for tickets," a source said.

Sources said that the "IOA is in no position to entertain their demands as the London Organising Committee for the Olympics Games (LOGOC) has set up a very stringent criterion for giving accreditations to the officials of National Olympic Committees (NOC)".

IOA had written several letters to London organisers for more tickets and even acting president V K Malhotra had personally sought the intervention of the organising committee chief Sebastian Coe to sort out the problem.

It was learnt that Coe and other officials in LOGOC have pleaded their helplessness in this regard, saying that there was no way they can change the criteria for accreditation which they assert is meant for all the NOCs of the world.

"IOA has got only four NOC guest cards which are transferable and the body is hard pressed to make their maximum use by rotating each pass among 13 delegates (Federation representatives, whose disciplines have qualified for the games)," another source said.

As far as tickets are concerned, LOGOC claimed that it has given the IOA its quota but given the size of the country and unprecedented demand for tickets, it falls short of demands.

LOGOC has asked the IOA that it should direct the ticket-seeking public to authorised agents, the sources said.

But there is a catch in it as the tickets sold by the authorised agents come with package which makes them very expensive and beyond the reach of an ordinary sports buff.

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