FIFA U17 World Cup 2017: Online tickets 'sold out' in Kolkata for the semi-final within three hours
If you are reading this now, the sad news is that the tickets for the first semi-final in the FIFA U17 World Cup between England and Brazil have been sold out. After being put up for sale at 8-30 in the evening yesterday, the tickets were sold out within three hours as the football-crazy people of Kolkata came out in droves to book their tickets online.
This means that after putting on a record 66,613-strong crowd for the quarter-final between Brazil and Germany, the City of Joy will again converge on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in Kolkata to pack the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.
The game had earlier been shifted to Kolkata from Guwahati on Monday evening after playing conditions at the Indira Gandhi Athletics stadiums were deemed not good enough to host the game due to incessant rains in Assam. The quarterfinal game between Mali and Ghana came under heavy criticism - especially from the Ghana coach as the formation of puddles all over the field made the conditions treacherous for the players.
The pitch seemingly has not recovered enough and a complaint from England seemingly forced the hands of the authorities.
After it was announced by FIFA that the tickets would go up for sale at 8-30 in the evening, the FIFA Local Organising Committee (LOC) Project Director Joy Bhattacharjya reported that nearly 20,000 were in the queue. That number went up to above 50,000 by 8-30 pm.
The seat allocation, however, was not given and that would be given on a first come first serve basis on matchday.
As time wore on, it went beyond 100,000 at midnight and 200,000 by today morning. Joy, however, was not reserved for everyone who had queued up early as immense pressure on the ticketing servers led to crashes and timing out of session as the pages became slow.
The LOC, however, did not comment whether any offline tickets will be made available at box offices or whether this could indeed be called as a "sell-out."