Zambian Football Association officials are creating a shortage of lowly priced tickets for Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Lesotho to make profits on the black market.
Sources say FAZ officials have created an impression that the tickets selling at KR 20 and KR50 have run out due to unscrupulous trades.
“The problem with this ticket crisis is some exco members are involved into the ticket business and send people to make extra income on the black market. It’s not true the tickets can run out even before people go to the selling points,” a FAZ member said.
According to the Times of Zambia, scores of Ndola soccer fans were yesterday left stranded as tickets ran out. This was just two hours after FAZ announced that the tickets selling points were open.
The article states that tickets ran out as early as midmorning when unscrupulous traders, who bought in bulk, took advantage to hike prices for the match scheduled for Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola and the situation was the same at the Lusaka Main Post Office where tickets allegedly sold like hot cake.
Some fans found hanging around the Main Post Office along President Avenue about 11:00 hours cried foul when they discovered that KR20 and KR50 tickets for the north and south wings for the eastern upper deck were sold out.
Only tickets for the eastern lower deck, western upper and lower decks and the VIP wings were still being sold and the situation was the same at Kansenshi, Kafubu, Industrial Area and Jacaranda Mall Post Offices.
The fans who thronged the Post Offices as early as 06:00 hours expressed disappointment and vented their anger at FAZ officials who they accused of creating a shortage of the affordable tickets.
“These people from FAZ are just hiding tickets for the people they know. We came here as early as 08:00 hours to queue up for tickets but we are disappointed that tickets for KR20 and KR50 are already finished. We all want to cheer the Chipolopolo because we understand the gravity of this game and no one should stand in our way just because they want to make personal gains out of this,” one incensed fan said.
The situation saw some unscrupulous people taking advantage of the desperate situation by inflating the price on the tickets meant to go for KR20 but were selling them at KR30.
FAZ spokesperson Erick Mwanza is quoted saying it was unfortunate that unscrupulous people were buying the cheaper tickets in bulk and re-selling them at a higher charge.
He claimed FAZ had adequately supplied tickets to all post offices along the line of rail.
Mwanza, however, asked fans to buy the remaining tickets for the western wing lower deck going at KR150, KR100 for the western upper deck and eastern lower deck and the VIP going for K500.