The Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket competition has been dogged by a series of disputes over online and offline ticketing.
A riot almost ensued in Bangalore over the weekend when angry fans turned on touts after the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium box office announced the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiant game was sold out. They also shouted slogans directed at the stadium owners for not issuing tickets.
Fans who had been queuing for hours reportedly “thrashed” the touts – selling tickets for four times face value – and then “handed them over to the police”, according to The Hindu newspaper.
“It’s a racket involving the stadium staff who sell the tickets to touts to make more money,” one irate fan told the newspaper.
The local Cubbon Park police took three persons into custody for questioning and said they were “trying to ascertain from where they got the tickets and also if they have any links with the stadium staff”.
Arrests have taken place in Hyderabad, Indore and other locations since the season started earlier this month.
Meanwhile, the decision to only sell tickets online for the Kings XI Punjab’s final home game of the season at Holkar Stadium has been criticised by fans that would prefer to buy in person, as well as those who have encountered problems with the team’s website.
Despite the decision to sell only online, a number of people were seen enquiring at the box office at the stadium about tickets. Others were forced to visit the box office to sort out problems, with many complaining that tickets purchased online had not been issued. Some had also been asked to visit the stadium to amend incorrect information on printed tickets.
One fan told the Times of India newspaper: “I had booked the tickets online but I did not get the tickets till now. I was waiting for the tickets to get home delivered but nothing of that sort happened. At last I had to come to the stadium to enquire about it.”