A war of words has erupted between Tennis Association members and officials after a lottery system meant to allocate tickets for the Wimbledon Championships in London was not used to distribute tickets this year.
Association members complained to the Sunday Morning Post that the ballot method that had been in place over recent years was not used, and said other members were given the tickets as preferential treatment.
One member said that all the 3,000 members deserved a chance to get the tickets, not just "a chosen few".
"This lottery system has worked for many years. It is the only fair way of doing it. There's actually still time to do a lottery as Wimbledon is not until July," the member said.
However, Herbert Chow, an association councillor and chairman of the tournament committee, angrily denied that anyone was given special treatment.
"Three of our members received tickets this year for Wimbledon in appreciation of the huge contribution they have made voluntarily to Hong Kong tennis. That is all," he said.
Chow implied that in the past, members gained from the lottery system because they knew the right people rather than because of luck. He believed tickets in the future should go to those who worked diligently for the association. The whole hullabaloo left him exasperated. "After hearing these allegations, I am inclined to recommend to our council to decline Wimbledon tickets next year," he said.
New executive director Bally Bang said he had no idea that this lottery system even existed until recently. He explained that the lottery had not been put in place because the association had been searching for an executive director for the past six months.
"I was unaware of this lottery system and can only apologise to members," he said.
Members who receive tickets do not get them for free; they must pay the sale price.