Seating capacity cut at football venues

Olympic organisers are reducing capacity at several stadiums hosting football matches after failing to sell all the tickets.

London organisers said on Tuesday that 250,000 football tickets are currently still on sale, with 50,000 tickets left for other sports.

An additional 200,000 football tickets and 200,000 for other events will go on sale soon after being returned by national Olympic committees. A further 150,000 free tickets could be released for schoolchildren.

More than one million football tickets had been left unsold recently, but organisers cut the number by reducing capacity by 500,000 at the venues.

"We've sold more football tickets than we've sold for anything else," London organising head Sebastian Coe said. "It was always going to be that football tickets were the challenge but I think we'll do pretty well."

Football matches will be played across the U.K. at six venues - St. James' Park in Newcastle, Old Trafford in Manchester, Hampden Park in Glasgow, the City of Coventry Stadium in Coventry, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, and Wembley Stadium in London.

The men's and women's finals will be played at Wembley.

The upper tier of seats at the Millennium Stadium will be closed for all games, reducing the capacity from nearly 75,000 to 40,000.

Coe said between 37,000 and 38,000 tickets have been sold for the Britain vs. New Zealand women's game in Cardiff on July 25, two days before the opening ceremony.

Fraudster jailed

Meanwhile, a fraudster has been jailed for a scam that offered young dance students fake places in the closing ceremony for the London Olympics.

Judge Sylvia De Bertodano sentenced Stephen Moonesamy to two years in prison. According to the BBC, the judge said he had "dashed more hopes than Simon Cowell."

Moonesamy was arrested in May after approaching three dance schools in Northampton, central England, claiming he was recruiting children aged 9 to 19 to dance at the games' August 12  finale.

Detective Superintendent Nick Downing said Tuesday that Moonesamy has "callously deceived around 75 youngsters" who had begun rehearsing for the event before the fraud was uncovered.

Police say it's not clear what the motive was, as Moonesamy did not stand to make a profit.

 

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