The Georgian Football Federation (GFF) said on Tuesday evening it will resort to alternative options to sell tickets for the UEFA Super Cup match in Tbilisi if the ticketing website, which crashed after failing to handle online traffic, is not restored within next 48 hours.
UEFA Champions League winner FC Barcelona will face Sevilla FC, the winner of UEFA Europa League, in an all-Spanish UEFA Super Cup at the Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi on August 11.
Biletebi.ge, Tbilisi-based website providing online ticketing services, was selected to be an exclusive retailer of about 30,000 entry tickets to the 54,000-seat Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena for the UEFA Super Cup – the highest profile international football match Georgia has ever hosted.
The website was scheduled to start selling tickets at 9am on June 22, but it crashed.
Initially the company said there was an “attack” on the website, but later it acknowledged that its servers failed to handle the huge traffic of football fans from Georgia and beyond.
The failure to launch the sale of tickets as well as some contradictory statements and explanations made by the company has sparked fury among those football fans who are willing to attend the UEFA Super Cup match. The company has been receiving waves of abusive comments from angry fans on its Facebook page for the second day on June 23.
After consultations with UEFA representatives via videoconference on June 23, President of the Georgian Football Federation, Zviad Sichinava, said that the Biletebi.ge has been given 48 hours to restore the service, otherwise GFF will have to resort to “plan B”, which he declined to specify.
GFF representatives have claimed that the federation had nothing to do with making Biletebi.ge an exclusive seller of tickets and say that the company was selected by UEFA.
On EUFA’s website, where information about Super Cup tickets and sale details are available, Biletebi.ge is described as “working on behalf of the Georgian Football Federation.”
In a brief statement on its Facebook page earlier on June 23 the company apologized and said that “alternative” ways to sell tickets have been discussed with GFF. It also said that it is waiting for a “decision and advice” from UEFA.
The company said that even though it upgraded its infrastructure, it was unable to provide service because of a failure to handle “unprecedented high” traffic.
The European football’s governing body awarded Tbilisi to host its Super Cup match in June, 2012.
Earlier this year, UEFA announced about selecting Georgia as a host of as a host of final tournament of the European Under-19 Championship in 2017.