23 October 2016
Hong Kong will face off with China in a crucial World Cup qualifier match in Shenzhen next month. Photo: Facebook
Hong Kong will face off with China in a crucial World Cup qualifier match in Shenzhen next month. Photo: Facebook

Soccer fans unhappy with ticketing system for match vs China

Football fans in Hong Kong are complaining about the difficulties involved in getting tickets for the upcoming World Cup qualifier match between China and Hong Kong.  

Mainland authorities have allocated 2,000 tickets for Hong Kong fans for the much-anticipated match that will be held in Shenzhen on September 3.

However, people are unhappy about the ticket sales procedure, saying it is too complicated, Sing Tao Daily reported.

Tickets for the match, which will be held at the 40,000-seat Baoan Stadium, can only be bought online. 

Sales began on Tuesday. The tickets, which cost HK$480 (US$61.9) plus a transaction fee of HK$50, will be mailed to successful buyers.

However, the website that is responsible for the sale has set multiple rules for those want to be there to support Hong Kong team.

Buyers are required to use a mainland phone number and Alipay or Wechat payment gateways. And they have also been asked to install anti-virus software on their computers beforehand.

As many people faced problems due to those restrictions, the website once displayed the message “tickets sold out” one hour after online sale began. But when the operator later realized that many transactions were not completed, sale was re-launched late afternoon Tuesday.

Some fans also complained that the online ticketing system was highly unstable, causing the transactions to fail.

Meanwhile, it was found that a group called Baoan Xixiang Residents (Hong Kong) Association claimed online that it had reserved 150 tickets for its members by filling their mainland travel permit numbers.  

However, when reporters called the association, a staffer said they do not accept new member registration for match tickets. The person said she had no idea how many tickets they reserved, before refusing to answer any further questions, Sing Tao said. 

Hong Kong will be looking for their third straight World Cup qualifying win after beating Bhutan and the Maldives in games played previously at Mong Kok Stadium.

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