Touts in full form at World Cup match

NEW DELHI: Ticket touts made hay as the capital hosted its first World Cup match on Thursday. The touts set up shop around Ferozeshah Kotla stadium around noon and were seen looking for customers near the entry gates and Rajghat crossing.”The current rate is Rs 4,500 for three tickets, take it or leave it. The match has already begun. There are more in line,” claimed a ticket-seller outside gate number 7. A little bargaining and the price was lowered by Rs 1,000. He assured that three more tickets could be procured at a lesser rate from another tout. The scene was a little different at another gate where even the cops seemed to know about the touts. “You should have come earlier. We could have helped you get tickets at a fair price. Now it’s difficult. We will call you if we see someone,” said two police officers posted at the gate.lThe touts were all over the place: some had come in need of a quick buck, some merely for the “adrenaline rush”. “It gives us a high. We don’t mean any harm. If it means earning some pocket money on the side, what’s the harm?” said one of them. There were college students dressed in branded jeans and flaunting gold chains around their necks who claimed that they were out to have a good time. “I sold five of my tickets at the regular price to these boys as my family could not make it to the match. They claimed they were in dire need of tickets and kept on bargaining for a lesser price. They later went ahead and sold it for double the price to some others,” claimed Suresh Rai, who had planned to watch the match but had to cancel it at the last minute.Tickets were sold in black for as high as Rs 5,000. “Some of the foreigners are desperate and we charge higher from them. I sold eight tickets to a group for a total of Rs 35,000. As they were buying in bulk, I gave them a concession,” explained young Shoaib. “However, I will charge Indians less. When the India match is held I will also watch from inside the stadium. Our shop will close early that day – TOI