The Indian Super League (ISL) organisers have passed the buck of selling tickets solely to the Kerala Blasters and the famed football team is facing major heat from the fans ahead of the ISL 2017 opener in Kochi.
Kerala Blasters take on defending champions ATK on Friday, November 11, at the JLN Stadium.
Just a day to ahead of the match, online ticket portal bookmyshow displays that all the stands have been sold out. Point to be noted is that not all tickets of the stadium are made available online. A major chunk of them are made available at the stadium box office.
Getting a hand on the tickets from the stadium is what is leaving the football fans in Kerala fuming. According to a report in the New Indian Express, the councillor of Palluruthy, a region in Kochi, has moved the Kerala State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) over the situation.
"We hoped the ISL organisers would not disappoint us, but we left the stadium with our hopes dashed. It is not the issue of it being the inaugural match; we were very excited to see the match because of our passion."
- Sanjay, a football fan who travelled from Palakkad to collect the ticket from the stadium.
What a mess!
Thampi Subramaniyam, the councillor, claims that the football fans are left in dark as to how the offline tickets are getting sold out despite nobody managing to get them. Thampi adds that the tickets are being resold in the black market.
"All the tickets except VIP tickets were sold out; not a single ticket was sold through the open counters. We suspect the organisers are deliberately trying to sell tickets on the black market by hoarding all the tickets," Thampi wrote in his petition to the Human Rights Commission.
"Earlier, the ISL organisers informed that ticket sales will be initiated through counters, based on which thousands of football fans from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod came down to the city to buy the tickets.
"Later, they said all tickets, except VIP ones, were sold out," the petition read.
5x normal ticket price!
Thampi, who made the ISL organisers, the Chief Secretary and the District Collector as the respondents in the petition, also mentioned that the prices of the tickets are absolutely insane.
"They are charging over five times the actual price of a normal ticket. Those who are not familiar with online ticketing are forced to depend on the black market. This is a pure case of human rights violation," Thampi mentioned.
"The Human Rights Commission should intervene in the issue to restart the sale of the tickets. The Commission should also intervene to stop tickets being sold solely online. This would be a great relief to football fans in Kerala."
ISL organisers pass the buck
Leeladhar Singh, the media officer and spokesperson of IMG-Reliance, mentioned that the responsibility of the entire ticket distribution system for Kerala Blasters' home matches, rested solely on the football team.
"The sale of tickets in Kochi is vested with the home team, Kerala Blasters. ISL is not selling the tickets. If a letter comes to my side, obviously I will give the same response," said Leeladhar.