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'Free' tickets being sold to Ali memorial

Associated Press Associated Press 8/06/2016

Muhammad Ali's family has slammed people who have tried to sell free tickets to Friday's memorial service for the late boxing icon.

Thousands of tickets were claimed on a first-come, first-served basis in about an hour.

Many fans flashed smiles, and some danced, upon getting their four-ticket allotments to be part of history. Thousands of others left empty-handed.

But some ticket holders immediately looked to cash in, going online offering to sell theirs to the star-studded event.

Former president Bill Clinton, a longtime Ali friend, will eulogise the champ, who died last Friday at 74 following a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell denounced the profiteering.

"I'm personally disgusted and amazed that someone would try to profit off of Muhammad Ali's memorial service," he said.

"I hope that those buying tickets or trying to buy tickets would stop those efforts by not purchasing," he added.

"Muhammad Ali wanted this to be a free event, an event that was open to all."

One of the posters offering to sell tickets, when reached by phone, said a friend of his sold tickets to the memorial service. When asked for how much, he hung up.

Others posted online pleas to buy tickets. One wrote that he and his mother were driving in from Chicago for the service and were willing to pay $US50 ($A67) for two tickets.

Another wrote that he was flying in from California for the service and offered to pay someone $US50 to stand in line for him for tickets to both the memorial service and the Jenazah, a traditional Muslim funeral being held on Thursday in Louisville.

But others unable to wait in line refused to pay for tickets to the event Ali insisted should be free.

"The Greatest wanted his funeral to be accessible to everyone instead of the money hungry spectacle that will be taking place on Friday," one wrote in requesting someone give him tickets for free.

"RIP Muhammad Ali, the Greatest of all time."

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