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Wembley Stadium blames IT issues for ‘ridiculous' queues at Olympics football

Wembley Stadium blames IT issues for ‘ridiculous' queues at Olympics football

Wembley Stadium has blamed IT issues for the "ridiculous" queues for food and drink experienced by spectators attending Olympic football games at the venue last weekend.

The complaints by sports fans came during the first-round match between Great Britain and the United Arab Emirates, when tills at some of the food kiosks stopped working.

Visa is a global sponsor of the games and is the only brand of card payment that is accepted at all Olympic venues. It is also using the Olympic venues to test a new "cashless" form of payment using mobile phones.

But a statement from Wembley Stadium emphasised that it was the venue's own systems that were at fault.

It said: "During Sunday's Olympic football fixtures, the stadium experienced some IT issues which prevented the processing of card payments.

"Wembley owns the IT infrastructure within the stadium and the problem was related to this, and not to Visa's systems."

Cash purchases were still accepted at kiosks, but due to the sponsorship agreement with Visa 27 rival ATM machines were either covered or removed from Olympic venues, including Wembley Stadium, prior to the games, making it difficult for visitors to the venue to access their cash.

Max Gore from Shepherd's Bush, west London, told The Telegraph: "The queues were ridiculous. I didn't have any cash and I couldn't pay on card.

"I asked the person behind the bar if there were any cash machines and they said some had been taken out for the Olympics. I had to trek around the stadium to find one."

He added: "The problem went on for the whole evening. There were two games and they couldn't get it fixed."

Wembley Stadium apologised to fans that were inconvenienced and said that a review of the system was under way to ensure the same problems did not arise again.

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford here.

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