Thousands of unwanted tickets to the London Olympics have gone on sale today.

For the next month, sports fans have the chance to secure their place at top events at this year’s Games. The tickets are being sold at face value by customers who can no longer afford them or no longer attend.

Organiser Locog has set up to encourage sellers to use an official site, rather than online auctions such as eBay, as it’s a criminal offence to sell London 2012 tickets on the open market.

Hot events up for grabs are expected to include diving, athletics and the closing ceremony. The seller will receive full price for the ticket, but if they remain unsold, they will be returned to the owner’s account. Tickets go on sale from today, until February 3 on a first come first served basis.

Two-thirds of ticket seekers failed to earn any in a first round that ended in April 2011, with 22 million requests for 6.6 million available tickets.

London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton said: “We asked people to buy tickets more than a year out from the Games and mindful of that, we promised that we would create this system for people whose circumstances may have changed to enable them to resale their tickets legally and safely.

“I’m convinced that most people will want to hold on to their tickets, but we are pleased to offer this resale programme which will give those who wish to use it an opportunity to securely sell their tickets to others who wish to go to the Games.”