British Olympic officials have rushed on sale thousands of unsold tickets for the 2012 Games after public anger at the number of empty seats.
Over the weekend, it emerged that around 12,000 seats were unoccupied for gymnastics, tennis and swimming events.
Furious sports fans have taken to social media sites after being told the events were sold out.
London Mayor Boris Johnson admitted that there were some empty seats because some VIP ticketholders failed to show.
“In the first few days you have these bureaucrats who don’t turn up to the seats that they are allocated,” Johnson said.
“They aren’t tickets so to speak, it’s just space that’s allocated to accredited sports officials of one kind or another and what’s going to be done now is we will reduce the space.”
Officials say they have quickly re-assigned under-used VIP areas and have made an extra 3,000 tickets available.
But many British fans are fuming. Having been locked out of a complicated ticket booking process earlier in the year, they say their only chance to soak up the Olympics atmosphere is via a giant screen in London’s Hyde Park.
British Sports Minister Hugh Robertson rubbished media reports that the ticket fiasco had tarnished the Games reputation.
“(We had) over one million people out for the road race yesterday and on Saturday; and a really good plan (is) being brought forward to ensure that unallocated seats are reallocated as fast as possible,” he said.
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