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Olympic Football tickets may be given away

Football News 24/7
The news that there are still more than a million Olympic football tickets available is hardly the fault of Stuart Pearce, the UK Team manager for not picking David Beckham in his 18 man squad. The tabloids have had a field day, blaming Pearce for a stupendous own goal that will cost millions of pounds in sales and merchandise etc. That seems not to be the case though.

 London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton told Reuters. "David is a great asset...the only point I'd make though is that the men's GB football games are pretty much sold out in any case, so we're probably already there,"

"Had we had men's team GB tickets unsold, then obviously the David Beckham factor would have helped us but we are lucky enough to be in a position where those are close enough to done," he added.

"It's hard to directly tie the David Beckham factor with where we have spare capacity."

Football tickets make up the bulk of unsold seats for the Games, due to the size of venues like Wembley Stadium or Manchester United's Old Trafford ground.

Beckham, England's most capped outfield player with 115 appearances, had pushed hard to be in the British team as an over-age player and had been seen as a strong driver for ticket sales early in the process.

The later stage men's games, such as quarter-finals, are largely sold out

Deighton said LOCOG had still sold more tickets for football than anything else and could be sure of far bigger gates for women's games than for any previous women's match held in Britain.

"Typically people buy football tickets quite late anyway," he added. "We're perfectly comfortable with where we are and every week more tickets are sold.'

But according to the Guardian last week, London 2012 organisers are considering giving away tickets for football matches at Hampden Park to schoolchildren amid fears that they won't sell out.

With more than 1m tickets remaining unsold for the football tournament, and with Glasgow's matches the slowest sellers, it is believed tens of thousands of tickets may be distributed to schools. The cost of the tickets would be subsidised by sponsors.

Organisers are keen to avoid the swaths of empty seats that formed the backdrop to some of the action in Beijing and are developing backup plans in case the tickets fail to sell.

The tickets would be channelled through the existing Ticketshare scheme, through which sponsors are already paying for some tickets to be distributed to schools. About 100,000 tickets have already been distributed in this way.

Football tickets were always expected to be the hardest to sell, particularly for those matches not involving the British side, and they account for more than half of the 2m unsold tickets for the Games.

Tickets to many matches are expected to remain on sale right up until the day of the game.


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