More than half of the schoolchildren who have been given free tickets to fill the stands at the Olympic Games have not shown up at sports events, local organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada said Thursday.
Some 280,000 tickets have been issued under a social programme devised by organizers of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
"Fifty-five per cent of those who had free tickets did not show up," Andrada said.
"The reason is that the kids were on holidays, so there is not a central place like a school where they can get transportation," he said.
Organizers have started working on solutions, Andrada added.
The no-show rate for normal tickets is 11 per cent at a Games which has been plagued by low attendences. Empty seats are particularly visible in the early athletics sessions at the 60,000 capacity Olympic Stadium.
People mainly do not show up because some tournament sessions are too long for spectators, and because early events collide with Rio's morning rush hour, according to Andrada.
"We also understand that Brazilians are glued to sports that they know or understand. Some sports that are not well-known in Brazil did not get the amount of people they deserve," he said.