The the start of the World Cup maybe six weeks away, but it has already spawned another controversy, leading to an ugly clash between prospective ticket-buyers and the police in Dhaka. The goodwill and charm surrounding the Cup has been somewhat dissipated by this untoward incident with organisers left in quite a quandary.
Overnight lines of fans outside bank branches broke into a mob protest when they were informed that each outlet would only be dispensing 500 tickets due to the stringent scrutiny of mandatory documents. The requisite identity papers are to ensure the highest degree of security is maintained as the mega-event unfolds.
The disappointed numbers then got into a scuffle with police as the latter endeavoured to break up the protest. A small number of fans and one news photographer suffered minor injuries in the face-off, officials said.
"They raised slogans and held demonstrations. We dispersed the protesters and maintained calm," police inspector Shah Alam said. Frustrated fans also damaged several cars in the northern outskirts of the capital, media reports said.
The World Cup begins on February 19 and the final will be played in India on April 2. The 45-day long event features 14 teams slugging it out for the title. A major share of the matches will be played in India, while Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also get a fair share as co-hosts.