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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, February 10, 2011
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Ticketless fans triumph, too

Thousands of angry football fans, some of whom had come from as far as Iloilo and Cebu, and formed a long line outside the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City starting early yesterday morning slammed the organizers of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup for failing to distribute the promised free tickets for the match between the Philippine Azkals and the Mongolian national team.

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. on Tuesday said he was informed that part of the 10,000 free tickets for the game would be distributed at the Panaad yesterday. Andy Laurel, a member of the Philippine Football Federation secretariat, also told ABS-CBN that tickets would be distributed at the Panaad yesterday.

The media was told that  3,000 of the free tickets were allocated to the provincial government for distribution to the towns and cities of Negros Occidental, and, of the 7,000 remaining with the PFF – some were distributed to football fans from other parts of the country, and the rest would be given out yesterday at the Panaad.

The governor said some people spent the night at the Panaad grounds to be first in line when the tickets were distributed but as of 3 p.m. yesterday, thousands were still waiting outside the Panaad Sports Stadium hoping to get tickets.

A PFF representative appeared before the waiting crowd later to apologize and announce that there were no more tickets.

But the governor last night said the persistent football fans won in the end, they just rushed into the stadium and the security men were unable to stop them.

A text message circulating yesterday said “Gud day. Where did the free tickets for the Azkals go? POC chairman Monico Puentevella received 5000 bleacher. 3000 tickets to the province of Negros Occidental, 1000 to the sponsors and 1000 to other provinces. Pls pass.”

But Puentevella said in an interview over ABS-CBN that he had nothing to do with the distribution of tickets.*CPG




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