SOUTH KOREA: FIFA TO HOLD INQUIRY INTO WORLD CUP TICKET ARRANGEMENTS AFTER THOUSANDS OF SEATS ARE LEFT EMPTY IN...
- Title: SOUTH KOREA: FIFA TO HOLD INQUIRY INTO WORLD CUP TICKET ARRANGEMENTS AFTER THOUSANDS OF SEATS ARE LEFT EMPTY IN OPENING MATCHES
- Date: 2nd June 2002
- Summary: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (JUNE 3, 2002) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PICKING UP TICKETS AT TICKET PROCESSING CENTRE QUEUE IN FRONT OF COMPUTER VARIOUS OF PEOPLE BUYING TICKETS ON LINE (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 21-YEAR-OLD OH JOON-YOUNG SAYING: "FIFA says there are many tickets left for international market, but I can not access to the website even though I want to buy them. So I came here as I don't have any other choice, but they said there was no ticket available. And with only one computer, with many people queuing up, it is really inconvenient." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN TOURIST KOSTOS LIAKOPOULOS SAYING: "We are trying to find tickets. I guess, you know, it is totally unorganised and we go around Seoul, I feel like I am around the room trying to find a corner. Please can you help us? I want to see some games. That all I ask." MORE OF PEOPLE PICKING UP TICKETS EXTERIOR OF KOREAN ORGANISING COMMITTEE FOR WORLD CUP SOCCER FINALS (KOWOC) KOWOC'S TICKETING DEPARTMENT (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) KWON HAI-YOUN, MARKETING MANAGER OF TICKETING DEPARTMENT, SAYING: "All this happened because Byrom did not deal with (the ticket sales) actively. For example, there appeared blocks where spectators were absent, that means, Byrom did not sell (tickets for) the seats." KWON TALKING, SHOWING TICKETS (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) KWON SAYING: "Exact data on the seats are necessary for KOWOC to take proper measures. But Byrom has not been providing the data on the seats smoothly. We are doing our best to get the exact data on the seats." KWANGJU (GWANGJU), SOUTH KOREA (JUNE 2, 2002) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SPECTATORS ENTERING STADIUM PUSAN (BUSAN), SOUTH KOREA (JUNE 2, 2002) (REUTERS) MORE OF SPECTATORS ENTERING STADIUM Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVABQ75SS16JPJXR5W19F6DT4CCC
- Location: SEOUL, KWANGJU (GWANGJU) AND PUSAN (BUSAN), SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Duration: 00:02:37
- Topics: Sports
- Story Text: Soccer's world governing body FIFA plans to hold an urgent meeting with Japanese and South Korean officials about World Cup tickets after tens of thousands of seats were left empty in the first eight games of the tournament.
South Korea's World Cup organisers (KOWOC) are pondering whether to bring in policemen, volunteers or high school soccer players to boost the poor attendances at first-round games.
There have been tens of thousands of empty seats at matches in both South Korea and Japan at the tournament which began last Friday.
South Korea has used rent-a-crowd tactics at major events before. Organisers of the 1988 Seoul Olympics brought in thousands of local children to fill the banks of the rowing course from start to finish.
FIFA is already investigating why there were around 3,500 empty seats at Friday's opening World Cup match when Senegal upset defending champions France 1-0.
There were also thousands of empty seats in the Sapporo stadium in Japan when Germany beat Saudia Arabia 8-0 on Saturday and the grounds were far from full for most of Sunday's first-round games.
Empty seats are a big issue for broadcasters because they make for bad television pictures and sound.
KOWOC has blamed poor attendances in part on a poor flow through of information from the British based Byrom company which markets the international tickets.
There have also been technical problems with some of the web sites which offer ticketing services.
KOWOC said there had been low attendances at Sunday's games in Korea between Paraguay and South Africa in Pusan (Busan) (pronounced as POO SAHN or BOO SAHN) and between Spain and Slovenia in Kwangju (Gwangju) (pronounced as KWAHNG JOO or GWAHNG JOO).
The Pusan game was played in front of a half-full stadium and the atmosphere was poor. The ground has a capacity of around 54,000 but only 25,186 turned up to watch an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Although 7,000 tickets were held back from the market because the seats offered a limited view the shortfall in crowd numbers was still cause for concern.
At the Kwangju game, won 3-1 by Spain, only 28,598 turned up at a stadium with a capacity of 44,100, KOWOC said.
The sales for Pusan in the domestic market were 87 percent successful, and in the international market 22 percent.
In Kwangju, the international market sales were only 31 percent while the domestic market was sold out.
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