Police attack fans seeking Cricket World Cup tickets
Thursday 24 February 2011
Fans queueing to buy tickets for England's World Cup match against India have clashed with police outside the stadium in Bangalore.
Policemen used force against a crowd of many thousands, after the 7,500 tickets on sale for Sunday's match ran out this morning.
It was reported that at least two people were taken to hospital, but M Chinnaswamy Stadium security officer Ratnakar Salunke confirmed the admissions were as a result of exhaustion after many hours queueing rather than injury caused by violence.
The majority of tickets are thought to have been made available to sponsors and commercial partners.
The Group B match had to be switched from the 90,000-capacity Eden Gardens in Kolkata to the Bangalore ground, which holds 38,000, because the original venue was not ready in time.
When it was announced the final batch of tickets would go on sale, Indian supporters began queueing at least a day beforehand.
Mr Salunke said: "The crowd was so huge that there was not a sufficient number of tickets.
"When the tickets ran out, they didn't believe it. So that's when some of them tried to get in themselves."
He made it clear, though, that both the method of selling - and police intervention - is standard practice in his country.
"This is how we sell tickets for major matches," he said.
"It is usual that crowds are dispersed like this with a small amount of force.
Asked about the reports of hospital admissions, Mr Salunke added: "After all the queueing, there was maybe some exhaustion, and the health of certain persons may not be that good for standing in the sunlight for all that time.
"It is not for any other reason.
"I was told by the police that one or two of them were not comfortable."
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