Thursday, December 01, 2016


Fans Upset At Semi Final Ticket Process

Tickets for the first leg of Indonesia's semi final against Vietnam in the AFF Suzuki Cup at Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong went on sale yesterday through a website and as you may imagine things did not flow fluently. There were frequent reports of the site crashing and people being left to hold on for ages as it seems no one had anticipated demand.

The system, should it work, is complicated enough. Fans are expected to pay on line, print a receipt, present the receipt at Bung Karno Stadium then head to the game in Cibinong over a period of four days. Do the people who dream up these nonsensical schemes have any conception of the logistical nightmares involved here?

First getting on the website. Then setting aside the time and effort to make the journey into central Jakarta, not everyone lives in Kuningan or Senayan, before they can actually hold said ticket in their hands and feel assured they can actually see the game. Oh and Friday Jakarta could be the scene of a demo that organisers have said will attract hundreds of thousands of people. Take time off work to risk a journey into the centre of a city with some of the worst traffic jams in the world to queue for a ticket?

A PSSI official reportedly said his organisation is not unaware of the difficulties but added if people were to queue on matchday at the stadium they could be standing around for two hours. 'But if access on the internet...two minutes is a disaster.'

The official likened the process to buying a plane ticket. Ticket is bought on line, you go to check in at Bung Karno and you board your plane at Cibinong. Except the journey from check in to boarding your flight is about 50 kilometres. For fans hoping to fly in just for the game that makes for a long, tiring day out and not everyone has their own transport.

Now I get that the PSSI are trying to simplify the whole ticket purchasing experience for fans following years of controversy and disturbances at major events. But this method has too many unnecessary layers and while it may have worked at the Philippine Sports Stadium, and it was bonkers there with a queue to pay for your receipt and another queue to collect your ticket 10 yards away, there were smaller numbers to deal with.

Ultimately Indonesia will have to move towards a smart card system where supporters pay for a card, get a member number, and when they pay on line their card will be updated. Admission will be by automated turnstiles and fans will have dedicated seat numbers. I know, what works at Arsenal, may not work here but it is probably the only surefire way we can host these major events and be left to talk about the football rather than listen to disgruntled fans wailing against the system. Or even worse.

With some 3,000 tickets sold on the opening day according to reports there are now suggestions some tickets may be made available off line though no details have yet been made.

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