Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Wembley card payments 'now working'

Fans hoping to buy refreshments as they watched Great Britain take on United Arab Emirates at Wembley were told they must pay by cash

Olympics organisers have reassured football fans that problems with paying for food and drink at Wembley Stadium have been resolved after spectators attending Sunday night's match were left hungry when tills stopped working.

Fans hoping to buy snacks as they watched Great Britain's men take on the United Arab Emirates were told they could not pay by Visa, the only credit or debit card accepted at London 2012 venues, and must use cash.

Disgruntled ticket-holders described the queues that subsequently built up as "ridiculous" and said a lack of cash machines at the west London ground added to the problem.

But a spokeswoman for Games organiser Locog said: "There were some problems with card payments yesterday evening. It was all up and running and rebooted by last night and everything is working now."

Speaking at the game last night, Max Gore, 27, from Shepherd's Bush, west London, said: "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. The problem went on for the whole evening. There were two games and they couldn't get it fixed."

Others vented their anger on Twitter, with Sue Atkins describing the payment problems as a "fiasco". Carl McQueen wrote: "80,000 people in Wembley Stadium, and the Visa card payment system has broken down - lot of people without cash going hungry & thirsty!" And Nick Bacon tweeted: "Was very unimpressed by Wembley Stadium. Ran out of food, couldn't use cards at the tills and lack of information given to punters."

A spokesman for Visa said: "We understand that Wembley's systems failed and therefore they were only accepting cash at the food and beverage kiosks."

Thousands of fans attended the stadium to watch Senegal play Uruguay before Great Britain's match on Monday evening. Great Britain's women's football team takes on Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Wembley Stadium said: "During Sunday's Olympic Football fixtures, the stadium experienced some technical issues which prevented the processing of Visa card payments. As soon as this became apparent, Wembley staff worked to address the problem and the Visa payment system improved. During this period, cash purchases were accepted at the kiosks.

"Following the event, a review of the Visa system is being undertaken to ensure the same problems do not arise again. Wembley Stadium sincerely apologises to fans who were inconvenienced due to this problem."

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