The opening match of the Hockey World Cup between India and Pakistan in New Delhi on Feb 28 is already sold out, on the internet and in city outlets.

Mid-Day – Indian newspaper’s website reports: Forget the peace talks, diplomacy and back door negotiations; Pakistan and India are going to war. Foreign Secretaries of the two countries are all set to bring outstanding issues to the negotiating table on February 25.

Hockey teams of both countries, however, will settle it on the ground, three days later. The arch rivals will play the inaugural tie of the Hockey World Cup at New Delhi’s Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on February 28. And the arena will have no dearth of fans, as the website http://www.ticketgenie.in/, which is selling the tickets for the event has already put up a House Full board forthe opening game.

Retail outlets, which are also selling tickets, are doing so by the dozen and fans have already started complaining they are not getting tickets for the match.

Amit, an employee of Café Coffee Day at Mayur Vihar, said, “We have already sold over 200 tickets and very few tickets are left. All the tickets that have been sold are for the general stands. We don’t have any tickets for the covered stands where the dressing rooms are located.”
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Shailesh Kumar, a resident of Saket, has been running from one outlet to another but has failed to get a ticket so far.
“I wanted to buy it online but all tickets were sold. Then I went to several outlets in south Delhi, but didn’t get lucky. I have lost hope now.”

Sale of tickets for the match began on February 3. Apart from http://www.ticketgenie.in/, tickets are also available at select outlets of Cafe Coffee Day, Union Bank of India branches and many 24×7 convenience stores. On Tuesday, a meeting of the Co-ordination Committee at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium was held to review the sale of tickets and security arrangements forthe match . Narinder Batra, Secretary General, Hockey India said, “We are happy with the on-ground arrangements. We are hopeful that the entire tournament goes on smoothly.”

The reported security threat to the event has failed to affect the fan frenzy. Amid speculations that policemen in plain clothes would be stationed near the players’ dressing rooms, a member of the organising committee said, “As for the covered stands, we have been advised by the police not to sell tickets for the India-Pakistan match, as a security measure. For other days, there is no problem.”