Locog nerves as football tickets go on sale

Games organisers keen for website to remain stable as final batch of seats go up for grabs

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The Independent Online

The organisers of the London Olympics face an anxious morning as they release the next batch of tickets for the Games. From 11am today the remaining 1.4 million football tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis with Locog insisting the “robust testing” that delayed the sale will ensure the system has no problems coping with demand.

Harsh words were exchanged between Locog and Ticketmaster, the company that conducts the sales, in the wake of the suspension of the previous round after Ticketmaster's system failed to handle the weight of numbers. Ticketmaster insist it is “confident” and “comfortable” with what lies ahead. Locog have still to announce a date for the sale of the remaining tickets for the rest of the Games in order to complete testing on a system that is supposed to be able to process 250,000 sales per hour. They also wanted to wait until after Thursday's mayoral and local elections.

Locog had aimed to launch the final sale of football tickets to coincide with last week's draw but despite the further delay maintain demand will still be strong over the course of the week-long window; it closes at 11pm on 6 May.

One million tickets have already been sold for the men's and women's football tournaments, which Locog say is unprecedented. Both finals and the quarter and semi-finals in the men's event are sold out, as is Great Britain against Uruguay. The organisers do though need to shift significant numbers to avoid swathes of empty seats - they have already conceded they do not expect the football to sell out - with 400,000 still on offer for matches in Cardiff and 200,000 in Glasgow. If the numbers do not rise dramatically it will fail to chime with Locog's claim this is Games the whole nation has bought into to.

Only 10,000 tickets have been sold for the opening match of the tournament - and the first sport of the Games, two days before the opening ceremony - between Britain's women and New Zealand in Cardiff. There are plenty of attractive looking fixtures on offer, including Britain's men against Senegal at Old Trafford, the women against Brazil at Wembley and all the Brazilian and Spanish men's teams' matches, such as Spain v Japan at Hampden and Brazil v New Zealand at St James' Park.

Tickets start from £20, for over 60s its £16 and there are ample pay-your-age for under 16s.