Jul 30, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
(DAILY MAIL) Prized Olympic tickets entrusted to foreign delegations are being openly sold by touts on the streets of Britain, it emerged last night.
They are cashing in on the huge demand for seats by selling tickets sent overseas by Games organisers.
The revelation came as a row raged over embarrassing scenes of banks of empty seating at many Games venues – including last night’s swimming finals. Last night Scotland Yard said every illegal seller arrested so far had held tickets despatched overseas to national committees and official re-sellers.
One of the touts held is from Germany, another from Slovakia.
The discovery raises further questions about the way in which precious tickets are allocated by the International Olympic Committee.
And it will fuel anger among millions of British sport fans who have been left watching events on TV because they failed to get a seat in last year’s ballot. Last night, as an official probe was launched into the scandal:
Shadow Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said those not using their seats should be stripped of them.
Olympics boss Lord Coe claimed venues were ‘stuffed to the gunwales’ and dismissed pictures of the seats as ‘holiday snaps’.
Organisers insisted the empty seats were not allocated to sponsors, claiming they were unused by athletes, officials and the media.
Troops, students and teachers are being drafted in to sit in the empty seats to prevent a repeat of the embarrassing scenes.