Muddled maths blamed for disappearance of 400,000 seats Hundreds of thousands of mainland sports fans will be left scrambling for seats at the Olympics when the last batch of tickets go on sale next month - because Games organisers got their sums wrong. A year ago, the Beijing Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Bocog) said about 7.2 million tickets would be available for domestic and foreign sales. But that number dropped by 400,000 yesterday when replacement Beijing 2008 ticket chief Zhu Yan revealed available seats had fallen to 6.8 million. 'We carried out a census [on seating arrangements] at all the venues and it returned a new figure,' he said, without elaborating further. The muddled maths is the latest controversy to affect the ticket sales after overwhelming demand caused an expensive computer system to crash after just hours during the second round of sales six months ago. The glitch cost the previous ticket director his job and an embarrassed Bocog was forced to revert to the lottery system used in the first phase of domestic ticket sales. But a confident Zhu said time was of the essence and he would revert to a first-come-first-served hi-tech system to sell the remaining 1.38 million domestic tickets for 16 sports, such as rowing, boxing and beach volleyball. 'We have only 100 days to go before the opening ceremony. We don't have enough time for a lottery draw. We have updated the system through various test runs and are confident it will meet the demand this time around,' he said. Tickets will be sold at Bank of China branches nationwide and on an official website from May 5. Sales close on June 9. Top artists had been recruited to design the tickets and foil counterfeiters, Zhu said. A wireless computer chip, special ink and laser imaging have also been used to curb fakes. 'It will be almost impossible to print fake copies of the tickets. We are sure that fake tickets will be created, but they will be of low quality,' Zhu declared. Recent test events at Beijing's showcase Olympic venues showed China's notorious ticket touts still operate with relative impunity, despite a government crackdown and threats to jail touts for up to five years. But yesterday Zhu did not reveal how the Games would be kept a tout-free zone. He said buyers would be limited to three tickets for two sessions - a maximum of six tickets. Once those were paid for, the buyer could apply to purchase six more. Several international sports associations said they had a serious shortfall of tickets for close family members - including parents - of the athletes they are sending to Beijing. 'We will try to make more tickets available to meet the demand of the world,' Zhu said, adding the torch relay protests across the globe had not affected sales.