Why are there so many empty seats at the Rio Olympics?

The Olympic Games is supposed to be the best sporting spectacle in the world but Rio organisers are struggling to fill seats.

The world's top athletes have been performing in front of sparse crowds as large chunks of seating have been left empty across many sporting events.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio 2016 organising committee, told Reuters: "We have sold 82 percent of the tickets we have available, five million tickets.

"We still have 1.1 million tickets to sell."

Empty seats are seen on the stands of the rowing events Credit: PA
Empty seats can be seen during the Rio Olympic Games 2016 Opening Ceremon Credit: PA
Empty seats at the end of the men's road race Credit: PA

Sections of the seating areas have been reserved for sponsors, some of which have gone unused.

Some sporting events have not been popular with Brazilians - such as hockey and rugby sevens - as they are not traditional South American sports.

However, about 75 percent of event attendees so far have been Brazilian, according to the Associated Press.

Fears over the Zika virus may have also put tourists off from attending the Games.

Top athletes such asRory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tomas Berdych all decided to pull out of Rio 2016.

Athletes have been taking to social media to encourage fans to fill the venues.

Usain Bolt appealed to fans to get their tickets for the Games on Twitter.

Seeing the empty seats has angered fans who failed to get their hands on a ticket.

Other fans commiserated with the athletes who are performing to reduced crowds.