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Asian Cup Qualifiers: Huge demand for India vs Cambodia tickets, online batches sell out in minutes

A RUSH FOR TICKETS for the upcoming Asian Cup Qualifier match between India and Cambodia caused multiple batches of tickets to sell out within minutes on the online ticketing portal BookMyShow.

The sellouts were caused because of the low number of passes being issued for the crucial game, to be held in Kolkata's iconic Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday, 8th June.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had earlier decided not to sell tickets; reportedly to avoid having to pay a fee of Rs 16 lakhs to the West Bengal government. Instead, the Fedration chose to issue a limited number of free tickets for the fans; to be distributed online as well as through offline outlets. This allowed them to host the Asian Cup Qualifier final round matches, to be held over three matchdays, for free.

According to Mr Anil Kamath, the AIFF Competition Director, a total of 20,000 free tickets would be available.

The last time the Blue Tigers played in this arena and tickets were sold, the official attendance stood at 53,286.

A section of the crowd at India vs Bangladesh, October 2019

Inevitably, the high demand for tickets led to fans rushing to get their hands on those precious passes on BookMyShow. When the first batch of tickets were made available on Saturday, 4th June, it sold out within 5 minutes.

Later on, more tickets were made available online in multiple batches. Each sold out within minutes. Even on Saturday, the latest batch of tickets disappeared within 10 minutes.

There are concerns among certain fans that some of these tickets may end up in the black market and sold at a huge markup due to their scarcity. However, there are reports that the AIFF would increase the number of tickets available for purchase, which may help remedy that situation.

There are several fans who are travelling a long distance for this match since this is the first time that the Indian national team is playing a match on home soil with fans present since October 2019. And many of them expressed concern because they still had not secured their own tickets due to how quickly they sold out.

Other fans, however, are trying to coordinate with them to ensure spare tickets of other fans are given to those are are travelling to Kolkata but don't have their own tickets.

Tickets for the next match, India vs Afghanistan (To be held on 11th June), will become available on 8th June. It's still unclear whether the AIFF will change their policy and put tickets on sale as they usually do, or insist on issuing limited free passes despite the heavy demand.

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