Times of Zambia by mitia on 6/14/13
By MOSES CHIMFWEMBE and YVONNE SAKALA –
TICKETS for tomorrow’s Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Zambia and Sudan have flooded the black market in Ndola.
A check at Ndola Main Post Office yesterday found scores of soccer fans lining up for tickets which had run out on Wednesday but were available on the black market.
Some unscrupulous people took advantage of the shortage to sell the tickets at exorbitant prices just outside the main Post Office.
A ticket worth KR50 was selling at KR100 while that for KR100 was fetching KR150.
Some fans who spoke on condition of anonymity expressed displeasure at the manner tickets were being sold.
“We are very disappointed at the way the sale of tickets has been carried out; it is not fair for us to come as early as 05:00 hours to line up for tickets, only to be told that tickets have finished. This must be seriously looked into by relevant authorities,” the fan said.
The fans also accused the post office staff of selling tickets to preferred people who later sold them at exorbitant prices.
But Zampost director of operations, Alex Mayeya said the post office staff strictly followed FAZ instructions of not selling more than two tickets to an individual and that there was no evidence to prove the allegations against its staff.
Mayeya, however, confirmed the running out of tickets in all post offices in Ndola, adding that there was increased demand.
A check at Jacaranda Shopping Mall Post Office revealed that the branch was only allocated three booklets of 150 tickets which ran out within 30 minutes on Wednesday.
The situation was not different at Kansenshi and Itawa post offices.
And in Lusaka, tickets ran out at various post offices and one other centre on Cairo Road which was announced as a selling point by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ).
A check at the Lusaka Main Post Office showed that only KR100 tickets were available, though stock was limited.
Around noon, a sales officer at the Lusaka Main Post Office, Alfred Tembo said he was left with only 50 of the KR100 tickets despite crowds of expectant fans still lurking around the area with others having no option but to buy the tickets.
And some youths who had bought tickets in a bid to sell to people outside the Lusaka Main Post Office were cautions in their dealings as they were heard saying in low tones in Nyanga: “Ukazinkala careful benangu aba nib a kapokola mu ma plain clothes –(you should be careful, some of these could be plain clothes police officers.”
In Kabwe, fans looking for low-price tickets have opted to go for the KR100 tickets which are the only one available.
Meanwhile, Zampost management has expressed regret at the panic buying, chaos and unmanageable queues created by the late delivery of football tickets.
Acting public relations manager, Mike Mutumwenu, said in a statement yesterday that the corporation has observed that attempting to sell tickets to over 40,000 fans in two or three days is unmanageable as the high demand experienced can be served better over a relatively longer period.
Mutumwenu said Zampost however, remains committed and willing to help members of the public access football tickets through its widely distributed post office network.
“We however find it difficult to participate in the ticket sales under the current conditions which are creating chaos and disruption of normal business, injured persons and dam