New Delhi:The hockey World Cup starts in New Delhi next Sunday, but there is absolutely no sign of tickets. They're not available at the places they were supposed to, they're not available online easily either. So how is the Indian fan supposed to go and cheer the team in the stadium?
"Ticket toh abhi issue nahin hua hai..... aisa hona tha.. 12 tareekh se, aisa paper mein bhi aaya tha......par yeh ticket counter toh abhi bana hi nahin hai. lekin agar aap ko chahiye, aap internet se le sakte hai.. 100 rs aur 500 rs ka ticket," said a person near the ticket counter. (Tickets have not been issues, though they were supposed to be from February 21.That's what the newspapers also said but the ticket counter is still under construction. If you still want it, book it online for Rs 100 or 500)
So that's what a hockey enthusiast Dr Sandhya Ahuja was forced to do. Go online and buy a cheaper ticket after hunting in vain for the more expensive ones. The Cafe Coffee Day outlet and Union Bank branch she visited said they had no idea what she was talking about, and they're meant to be the official distributers!
Of course buying the Rs 1000 VIP tickets online is not an option because they've probably all been distributed already!
"I wanted a Rs 1000 ticket. At my age I don't want to be in a crowded place. I would like to watch the match comfortably, even if people are willing to pay the money why can't we get a VIP ticket," said Dr Ahuja.
Well Dr Ahuja, nobody seems to have the answer, not even Hockey India who are clueless about the mystery of the missing tickets!
"I agree this is negative publicity. The Delhi Entertainment Tax Department has the tickets. They were given the tickets long time back. I don't know why they haven't released them," Narendra Batra, Secretary General of Hockey India said.
It's not just the sale of tickets that's in a mess. With less than 2 weeks to go, there has hardly been any publicity for a tournament as big and crucial as the World Cup. We haven't seen a single banner or poster anywhere around the National Stadium, which is the venue for the World Cup. Remember, India has qualified for this tournament only because they're the host nation. And this kind of negative publicity, or should we say zero publicity, is really the last thing needed.