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Ticket fiasco must not dent the football carnival

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Gordon Farquhar | 18:16 UK time, Thursday, 15 April 2010

Organisers of the World Cup in South Africa must be wondering when their luck will turn. Perhaps in time for the tournament's opening match on 11 June, when the hosts face Mexico?

Latest efforts to give ticket sales a much needed boost got off to a bad start on Thursday when the integrated Fifa ticketing system threw a wobbly and went into limp-home mode.

Fifa and the organising committee had made a huge deal of their decision to give local fans without credit cards or easy access to the internet the chance to scoop up a few of the 500,000 unsold seats at "bargain" prices.

Woman in Soweto with World Cup tickets
Ticket sales to the general public in South Africa began on Thursday morning

Enthusiastic supporters queued all night to get an early opportunity to part with their hard-earned rand at either the local branch of the local First National Bank (FNB) or one of the new ticket offices that have been set up.

But after an early spurt, the computer said 'no'.

On the lunchtime TV news in South Africa, a somewhat harassed FNB spokesperson asked for people to have patience as they tried to sort things out, with a heavy reminder that this was not a problem of their making.

"Bank staff are taking enormous strain," she said. "We're feeling the pain much more than Fifa itself."

Things got worse as the day wore on, with police deciding to intervene and use pepper spray to stop scuffles in queues at a posh shopping mall in Pretoria.

That came after the death of a 64-year-old man in Cape Town, waiting at place number 565 in the line, from a reported seizure.

An organising committee statement sought to play down the computer problems and accentuate the positive, making a virtue of the fact that the high demand was responsible for almost crashing the system and boasting of nearly 4,000 tickets sold in the first hour, to 780 different customers.

But even at that pace and with, let's say, tickets on sale eight hours a day, it will still take more than a fortnight to shift the remaining 496,000.

While the cheapest seats are selling like hot cakes, cash-paying South Africans are much less likely to be interested in the pricier tickets which stretch to well beyond the country's minimum weekly wage.

The reasons the organisers are in this situation in the first place are complex.

Most fingers point to the global economic downturn as prime suspect, a factor entirely beyond the control of South African World Cup chief Danny Jordaan and his organising team. Fifa now concede it made the ticketing system too complicated for the domestic market and admitted it should have gone to direct cash sales earlier than it has.

Less than half the population have easy access to the internet, which for too long has been - along with possesion of the right kind of plastic - the only way to book your seat.

There has also been negative publicity about security, however over-stated that may be.

All of this is a great pity, as the World Cup promises to be spectacular. The locals' enthusiasm for the event is beyond doubt. It will be a noisy, more visceral cultural experience than the average European equivalent.

It will also be a great chance to see how things are done in South Africa, a stunningly beautiful country wanting to put its best face on for the world.

When the TV cameras pan around the grounds, let's hope it's that face, not the empty seats, that we notice most.


  • Comment number 1.

    Is it me....or is this not just gonna turn into the ticket touts dream scenario???

  • Comment number 2.

    To be honest there is no other way that FIFA are going to be able to get South Africans into the game. I think it is good that they have backed down over the internet sales. I remember when I purchased tickets for the 2006 World Cup, it was so frustrating that I had to have a specific credit card etc etc. The World Cup and FIFA due to its prestige and power can pretty much do as it wants and in the past the sponsors have been able to flaunt their products powerfully, for example you were not allowed to take water into the games, despite the 40 degree heat in Germany and had to purchase coke water at 3 euros a cup. Also some Dutch fans were made to go into a game without their trousers on as they had a competitors logo on them...

    Whilst the World Cup is a money spinner it should also be noted that this game is for the people and I'm hoping that some of the African football spirit, like taking vuvuzela's to the game, will shine through. They are so excited about hosting the competition and after visiting I intend to write an article about how important the success of the Bafana Bafana will influence the whole competition. Lets hope this is a competition to savour and one for the African people, who love football so much.

  • Comment number 3.

    Let's not forget that airlines have priced-out thousands of 'would be' spectators from visiting RSA and going to the matches. As a South African living in the United States, airline tickets are currently $3,000 dollars to Johannesburg. I want to see the World Cup in my home country but I cannot afford that ticket . . . I hope that the ESPN broadcast coverage is sufficient!

  • Comment number 4.

    I just hope the competition turns out well. Good luck to South Africa!!

  • Comment number 5.

    The organisation of ticket sales has been shambolic.

    I have been keen to go to the World Cup from it's announcement, and despite being involved in every sales round, I've neither been able to get tickets for the games I wanted, nor had any clarity on whether I'd be able to get a ticket in later phases. Even now, there's doubt as to whether tickets will come up for sale again.

    I need to book a flight and get some accommodation, and can't pay the exorbitant fees commanded by the organised tours. Fifa have turned this tournament into a scalpers paradise, where inflated air fares, accommodations costs, ticket costs, car hire costs and doubts about how to actually get your hands on your tickets mean that I have no idea whether I'm going to go and enjoy myself.

    This should be the trip of a lifetime, and Fifa needs to take responsibility and make life easier for the regular fan.

  • Comment number 6.

    Air-travel to South Africa has priced-out many American, European and Asian supporters from atending the games, which is a great shame. I would have loved South Africa to have a greater chance to show-case itself to the world in person.

    I have a South African friend here in the Netherlands, who claims her usual ticket back home (she normally goes home every June - as both her parents celebrate their Birthdays that month) has pretty much doubled in price. She'll be missing her world cup - and their Birthday's.

    Ticket prices should have been froze - and more plans put on schedule, there was always money to be made by an increase in travel to South Africa.. another notion of greed taken too far.

    I also think more should have been done to make sure African citizens of other nations - especially South Africa's neighbours - could get their hands on tickets. Afterall, this is Africa's world cup, it's never been there before.

  • Comment number 7.

    Most ordinary fans are interested in the football. Fifa however are interested only in how much money will be made. For the fan it is a 4 year football jamboree for Fifa a money raising exercise. It is crucial for Fifa that the biggest and not neccesarily the best teams make the final stages-it is what all of the sponsers require-big TV audiences to sell their products to. The seeding of the competition only ensures that the smaller nations have a more difficult task to qualify almost ensuring that the same tired old nations get to the later stages. Hence the play-offs in Europe being seeded at the last moment with the French and Portuguese being favoured at the expense of smaller nations..a world cup without ronaldo unthinkable for the sponsors! How long before China and India get seeded into the later stages their economies are too big to leave out. Watch this space.

  • Comment number 8.

    Way to downplay the crime problem in South Africa.

  • Comment number 9.


    What a load of rubbish. As a football fan I want to see the best teams get through to the latter stages of the competition and not some country ranked 50+ in the world.

    What next? A handicap system so that the smaller nations have a couple of goals head start in each match?

  • Comment number 10.

    Its good that the locals can get cheap tickets to fill the grounds for the matches. Many Europeans and Asians will stay away to watch tv as it is safer.
    I would love to go but am afraid of the crime problem. more than 20,000 murders last many assault victims just were robbed or had injuries but did not die ???
    It is a great pity that individuals like myself won't go this time...If I had a group of maybe 20 friends to go with and knock around with me all the time for safety's sake then I would probably go.
    I think Africa got it 12 years too soon..maybe they should have another go later; Egypt and Libya combined could be a good venue.

  • Comment number 11.

    PR can only go so far until the stark truth emerges. People do not feel safe enough to go to South Africa, and despite what FIFA or anyone else tells you, that is a fact! At work we (the football fans, that is) have had this discussion already and most have said that they wouldn't care if the tickets for the World Cup in South Africa were free, they would not go. If the World Cup was being held in (most of) Europe or many other stable countries, it would not present a problem. In their blind pursuit of trying to forge global domination of "the beautiful game", FIFA seem totally blind to reality. Then again, there's nothing new there.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Yes, because those horns are so uncultured, rude and uncivalized... which of course completly reflects on the nation as a whole. Never again should a nation who weild horns be allowed to host a World Cup!!

    Dude, just mute your TV. You wont miss any useful commentry.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    I agree with Blitz18. This looks set up nicely for the touts. Were there any restrictions on tickets such as two per person per game? I've seen two pictures of people with tickets and they seemed to have bought a lot of tickets.

  • Comment number 16.

    What is the real reason why tickets haven't been sold?
    Global economic downturn? Overcomplicated ticketing system? Perceived security risks?

    No. The real reasons are much more sinister.

    Who was given exclusive rights to sell 13% of all World Cup tickets? Answer: None other than FIFA President Sepp Blatter's nephew, Phillipe Blatter.

    Who has the other 87%?
    Answer: Phillipe's business partners, Jaime and Enrique Byrom.

    When a no-frills airline tries to undercut the pricey packages offered by Blatter jnr and his pals, who takes legal action to stop them?
    Answer: FIFA's lawyers.

    How do they get away with it?
    Read all the answers at

  • Comment number 17.

    Agree with #9 about the ridiculous comments of #7.

    The World Cup is popular enough without needing the bundles of notes from India & China.
    Look how India have ruined the game of cricket with their billions of dollars invested into the IPL and left the traditional forms of the game in a perilous state.
    If you want to see the "lesser" teams succeed perhaps they can organise a "secondary" World Cup for those ranked 60+ !!

    In regards to the tickets this looks like being another fiasco with Blatter and his cronies ensuring that coin is in their pockets at the expense of the true football fans. He has far too much power for one of little nous and should be removed from FIFA asap.

  • Comment number 18.

    Ticket touts will have mixed fortunes. For the biggest games, they will do well, but as many games wont sell out, they will probably do very poorly at all the 'lesser matches'. I think i'm correct in saying that South Africans can buy their tickets at a reduced price, so will they be able to tout these on to foreigners? If they do, then the fans get refused entry as they aren't South African, this could cause a riot!

    #10 How can Libya hold the World Cup? There is no infrastructure, you can only visit on an organised tour. Egypt is a tourist nightmare too from my 2 months spent there. Scam scam scam scam. South Africa was the only real option if it was going to be held in Africa.

    I really like it when teams like Holland have their band playing at games, it makes it a carnival atmosphere. Its great fun. But sorry, vuvezelas are just annoying drone. The players have even complained about them.

    There are many reasons why this World Cup has been a joke so far (even before it begins) and that is because of a) Airline prices b) Hotel prices c) Problems getting tickets

    How can there be 500,000 tickets left, but many people can't get their hands on the ones they want!?!? Its a joke, but thats FIFA for you.

  • Comment number 19.

    #12 - What a terrible attitude to have going into a World Cup.
    May I remind you that this is an International sporting event, and for the first time in 80 years it is being held in a continent with not only pure, raw talent and beautiful scenery, but in the oldest continent, with rich and diverse cultures. So it is poor and has been downtrodden, but that is politics and this is sport. This is for the people of the world, not the ignorant capitalists who want to hold on to racial/social superiority into the 21st Century.
    I am flying to South Africa from Australia, and can not wait for it! Suit yourself and ignore it, no one else cares whether you are there or not.
    We will have fun!
    And I have a ticket to the Cape Town quarter final - I would love to see South Africa (unlikely) or Ghana/Australia in it!

  • Comment number 20.

    It is very frustating to see the world being staged on your door step and you have absolutely no way of getting your hands on a ticket. As neighbours to south africa, myself from Botswana and other countries like angola, zimbababwe, zambia we have the same problem that south african have, that is limited access to internet and credit cards. Fifa onlty gave a few tickets to our football association, and these were only enough to go aroung the football administrators and their friend. I think for us in Botswana they were only given about 150 tickets.

    People here are not really much concerned about the ticket prices but rather access to buy them. If Fifa were to avail 5000 tickets today or even 30000 to Botswana, I can assure you they will all be sold out in a weeks time.

    South African organisers themselves seem to forget that, as neighbours we are available to help.

  • Comment number 21.

    #20 great post. Its sad to hear that you are having such problems purchasing tickets. Whilst #19 says the World Cup is about football and not politics, unfortunately FIFA clearly don't have the same morals. For them its about cold, hard cash.

    Would they prefer to sell 1,000,000 tickets at $100 or 2,000,000 tickets at $40. There in lies the problem. They are interested in maximising profits and if seats go unsold, then so be it.

    The South African government should also be held accountable for happily allowing airlines and hotels to exhorbitantly raise the prices (and i'm sure FIFA hasn't minded this as its increased their 'tour package' prices). There is no consideration of the fan, just how much money can be made. Its short sighted.

    Say 50,000 fans from around the World go, and all spend $5000 each

    Surely it would have been better to make things more affordable so 100,000 fans would go, even if they only spent $3000 each. Because you would also get repeat business through tourism and also increased investment. In my opinon, whilst people are talking 'long term' strategies, they are implementing short term ones.

  • Comment number 22.

    FIFA scored an own goal with their pathetic money grabbing steam powered ticketing system.
    If FIFA hadn't been so greedy and allowed South Africans to sell the tickets we would have sold a higher volume of tickets in less the time.
    South Africa has the capacity experience and expertise to handle this kind of ticket volumes, FIFA do not! This is NOT FIFA's area of competence. FIFA are clueless and useless!...A simple job messed up by greed.
    South Africa has a highly sophisticated, fully integrated electronic financial system onto which FIFA attempted to piggy back their abacus.

    As for the Afro pessimists out there (myself included) the stadia are finished, the pitches have been tested and we are ready! (so stop talking about unfinished facilities!)
    As for the crime problem, like crime all over the world the majority of people are murdered by people that they are aquainted with, we do NOT have 20000 football fans or tourists murdered here every year.
    Football fans will be safe here if they take due care (like any other tourist destination).
    I must be honest and admit that I consider myself as a bigot and a racist, but I also think that South Africa is the most AMAZING country in the world and I have NEVER met a tourist who was dissapointed with the South African experience.
    So please come and visit South Africa, be careful and you will be amazed you will have an unforgettable experience and you will definitely return. (Just ask Terry Payne (MBE, Southmpton FC, 800 games and England World cup winner 1966, he will NEVER go back to live in the UK, he belongs to us!)
    Bad propaganda is acceptable, if it is true, but there are people here who are clueless, spouting forth about unfinished stadia etc (12).....go back to sleep please.

  • Comment number 23.

    #16 I have no idea if what you say is true but that website looks a bit ropey mate... all a bit Area 51 style stuff

  • Comment number 24.

    I have worked directly with FIFA and UEFA since 2001 at all their major tournaments. FIFA especially are little better than the mafia in that they buy all hotel accommodation and transport availability (flights, buses) well in advance and sell them on at 'mafia rates' to sponsors who have no choice but to buy them if they want to run their sponsorship programmes. you either buy from them or your not able to do very much because you won't have transport or a place to stay for your competition winners.

    Add on top of that the hotels and airlines which have tripled and quadrupled their regular seasonal fares. So a part of me feels they may all be getting their just reward for the way they operate. Sadly I would hazard a guess that when FIFA just dumped tens of thousands of hotels and flights they had pre-booked, they would have left South African business in the lurch because of deeply one sided contractual terms. They have been known to leave hotels without a booking like this only weeks before a tournament.

    Organisationally and in terms of infrastructure, Africa was not ready for this and I know FIFA employees cannot wait for this to be over. That being said, having worked at these events, there is a magic that happens once the tournament begins which you can never predict. That magic turns many games of football into something transformative for the host nation and quickly washes away the pre-tournament worries. I am anticipating and hoping for that magic for the South African nation and Africa.

  • Comment number 25.

    Am I the only football fan out there who feels the world cup is a tarnished tournament?
    The appalling refereeing, the diving, the cheating and general unsportsman-like behaviour has ruined international football for me.
    Italian/Spanish/Southern European/South American/Asian football is more akin to, non-contact.
    Is it any wonder why the popularity of rugby has rocketed?
    Until FIFA tackles this head-on and instructs referees to penalise diving, then my interest in the game will continue to wain.
    Football is a mans game, we need more 'men' playing it.

  • Comment number 26.

    NippyNelmo (11) if you don't want to come to the World Cup because of your wild imagination and ignorance and comments about empty stadia then please keep your mind closed and stay away, because that means I can get your ticket.
    This country does have a violent and general crime problem, yes, but you take it out way of context.
    I have already queued for eight or nine hours only to find that FIFA's technology has the capacity to sell five tickets per hour. As a South African I am used to world class service and technology and this was an embarrasment to us all. We are far superior to the dross that FIFA dished out yesterday.
    South Africa WILL sell all the tickets, the stadia WILL be full (full of South Africans if you stay away) and in my opinion the best quality sides competing in the tournament for a long time.
    It is going to be an AMAZING World Cup!
    And I will guarantee you this; many visitors will return here to live once the tournament is over because they will be so impressed by the quality and the standard, so keep your mind closed on this one, I need your ticket

  • Comment number 27.

    I am writing this in total disgust at the way people were treated at the ticketing centre at the Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria yesterday.

    I had been there since 6:30 a.m. till I got hit and pepper sprayed away at around 6:00 p.m. In the morning the atmosphere was brilliant, the crowd was calm, and the 2010 World Cup had become reality for many of us at that moment. What a feeling standing in the queue to the world's greatest event with people from all walks of life, united and in high spirits.

    9:00 a.m. and the doors open, that is where FIFA, the LOC, the police and the World Cup staff failed dismally. There were no barriers, no security, no organization and inevitably resulted in chaos. As a result total confusion erupted and people took advantage of this and brought the place into disrepute. When the armed policemen arrived, they got a loud applause from the crowd as we all were for the idea of some sort of order. Unfortunately they mistook the gratitude as worship and showed their brainless brawn.

    For no reason people were pepper sprayed and beaten, forced to move back and treated like children. Thanks to them the queues were lost as people just scurried for breathing space. 6 o’clock that evening was the worst!

    With just fifteen people in front of me to get to the door, the day of waiting with no water or food was almost worth the effort. Even though when people starting singing songs to liven the atmosphere, they were threatened by the police. Then the police decided to get “clever”. They wanted everyone in front of the queue to push back, at the same time the people at the back of the queue were pushing us forward. So if you were an idiot with a bullet proof vest, a pump action shot-gun, two pistols, tear-gas and pepper spray, the only thing to do is beat the people away.

    I remember being hit on the head, pepper sprayed in the eyes then stepping on some young girl, it was horrible! We were a crowd of citizens, doctors, CEO’s, students, working professionals, but were treated like a mob of barbarians. To the friends I made in the queue, thank you for showing me that this country has the best people in the world, I am proud to have met you all.

    To FIFA and the LOC, your lack of organization, planning, and infrastructure support is despicable! We all know that there were no network problems, you just didn’t want to sell the tickets to us because we don’t have Euros. I will watch this World Cup on T.V. and not support your efforts in anyway what so ever! I will rather support local football, as that is more systematic than your event.

    To SAPS (the police service), you barbaric inhuman idiots ruined everything and it is your fault that there was chaos. No wonder why you people can’t solve crime, you don’t even have the brain power to arrange a queue. And as for the World Cup, I can guarantee you will stuff that up too!

    Thank you for ending a dream of mine, I’ll be toasting from my home to your eminent failure.


  • Comment number 28.

    #9 and #17. While we all want to see the best teams and the best players in the World Cup to mkae it as exciting as possible, it's also questionable whether the likes of Portugal and France deserve to be there. Sure, their reputations are of strong teams, but this was disproven during the qualifying campaign where they failed to surpass the likes of Denmark and Serbia respectively. A league system like this, rather than a one-off game leaves them with no excuses. And if they are as strong teams as you claim, then surely Denmark and Serbia deserve some recognition of their own for outperforming them in the long run!

    Also, it might be more enjoyable to see a 'smaller' footballing nation (such as Bosnia and Ireland, who were eliminated in the playoffs by Portugal and France respectively) given the chance to spring a surprise. We're not talking San Marino and the Faeroes here - these are nations with proud footballing histories and strong players of their own. We might not get to see Ronaldo or Ribery, but we get to see them week-in, week-out in their leagues anyway! Give the likes of Edin Dzeko and Aiden Mcgeady a chance to shine. Were it not for Fifa's money-grabbing organisational tactics, we might have seen new gems emerge and a new country come to the fore. Things can't change unless you give them a chance. Or should we just give Brazil and Spain a bye straight through to the final because 'they're the best teams'?

    Re the whole ticketing thing, I think FIFA should stick to their jobs of organising the football and let the South Africans run everything else for themselves.

  • Comment number 29.


    'I must be honest and admit that I consider myself as a bigot and a racist'

    Well jog on with your opinions because no one is interested in anything you have to say.

  • Comment number 30.

    A few things from an ex-pat in SA.
    Firstly our special subject of crime, yes we have it, so do you in the UK, we're adult enough to publish our figures and if you look closely they are coming down yours are going up. Ask 95% of the people who have been here and they will tell you its overstated and they feel safe here, on top of this I also know of not less then 10 people in my circle of friends and family who are in the process of emigrating from the UK to SA because its such a special country and surprise surprise they feel safer here than in their homes of Fulham, Oxford and Woking!

    Now the No1 subject in SA, FIFA, as one of the guys earlier stated is not much better than a mafia, a couple of interesting ones for you;
    1 - Sep Blatter along with the head of the UN is the only person on the planet that either doesn't need to or refuses to go through passport control on arrival and insists that he is the 1st off of the plane he lands on
    2 - SA will not get a single Rand from ticket sales or sponsorship from the world cup despite spending Billions on it, alls goes to FIFA the organisation that announced profits in the region of $1billion a few weeks ago
    3 - FIFA is now suing hundreds of SA companies for copyright breaches, their crime? to put a Vuvuzela, SA Flag, and a generic soccer ball together in an advert, product, flyer. Two of the three items are symbols of SA, especially the flag, the other is a generic symbol. And don't dare put the numbers 2010 on their either! One guy actually registered and started manufacturing a product in 2003 with the three items on and is being sued.
    4 - any non-FIFA approved (read paid for) signage within 1Km radius of the centre spot must be approved, I know of Architects in Port Elizabeth that have to take theirs down for the world cup, to drive there is 5,4Km but straight line is 983m.
    5 - all construction work within a set radius of around 20Km of the centre spot must cease for a month either side of the world cup

    There are more examples coming out daily of FIFA's bully boy tactics, trust me nobody told the good people of SA this when it was awarded. I just hope London does better with the IOC for 2012.

    That said the SA population is now getting behind the world cup and every friday is now Football Friday so people wear their Bafana Bafana shirts to work. It will be a great world cup that is for sure

  • Comment number 31.

    I and 2 friends are going to the World cup for week. £2,000 each for flights, 5 nights accommodation and 2 matches.

    Of course, had the English FA let the fans who didn't fork out the ridiculous fee for EnglandFans+ memberships apply for the England package it would have been much easier. Thanks go to the FA for making England fans feel unvalued. Well i've paid my own way and i hope you don't see a penny of it.

    At the end of the day my main problem is going to be getting back on the plane if England progress through the knock-out stages, because i won't want to be leaving!

  • Comment number 32.

    29. At 10:53am on 16 Apr 2010, HottBlackDesiato wrote:

    'I must be honest and admit that I consider myself as a bigot and a racist'

    Well jog on with your opinions because no one is interested in anything you have to say.

    I may be those things, that does not mean that I am stupid or spreading untruth or have made any stupid comment unlike yours which only stated that you too are some kind of a bigot.
    I treat everybody with respect, and (nearly) all South Africans of whatever origin will treat you the same if you come here.

    It is difficult to watch news broadcasts from anywhere in the world without becoming a bigot, that is why I made that statement

  • Comment number 33.

    #23 wrote: #16 I have no idea if what you say is true but that website looks a bit ropey mate... all a bit Area 51 style stuff

    Please believe it - it is all true. The website is all the work of one investigative reporter called Andrew Jennings. What the site lacks in presentation, it certainly more than makes up for in content. Please appreciate that it is difficult for a whole team, let alone one man, to produce such quality content and still achieve the same slick presentation standard as, say, the BBC.

    All the articles and claims have been researched and substantiated. He has been investigating corruption at FIFA for years. If you need more convincing, order a copy of his book "FOUL!". It is a fantastic read, highly recommended and the result of seven years' research. From the Telegraph about "Foul!":

    I am just pleased that the majority of people posting here and the fans in South Africa have displayed the real and very special spirit of the World Cup - that of the people, the fans. Long may that spirit continue - they can never take it away from us.

    ...I just wish more mainstream media, including the BBC, would pay more attention to FIFA's dodgy dealings and uncover all the reasons for the ticketing scandal, not just the convenient or easy ones. How about it Mr. Farquhar?

  • Comment number 34.

    As someone who visited South Africa for a fair amount of time in 2005 can I just say to anyone who says that they aren't going because of security fears to ignore those fears because a) they are without foundation & b) you are missing out on the most fantastic country I have ever had the fortune to visit - beautiful scenery & fantastic friendly people from so many different cultures

    I've watched football in many different countires over the years & had the fortune to be able to watch a game between the Mamelodi Sundowns & Ajax Cape Town whilst I was over there. It was played at the big rugby ground in Pretoria which was an excellent facility & is being used for the world cup & the atmosphere in there even though it was only about a quarter full was the best I have ever experienced.
    Those horns may sound annoying on teh TV but in the ground & combined with the drums & the chanting & dancing it really is something else
    i remember the friend I visited over there saying that he really hoped FIFA would ensure the genuine football lovers in the country i.e. those that watch their teams in the flesh week in, week out would be given a sufficient chunk of tickets - it appears FIFA did its best to keep out those "undesirables" but is now having to do what it should have done in the first place

    I'm really looking forward to this world cup & my only regret is that due to the prices being charged I can't go - BTW my flight over there 5 years ago cost me £345 & the food, accomodation, travel, drink, costs etc.. were dirt cheap too. Unfortunately the capitalists have seen the dollar/pound/rand signs flashing in their eyes

  • Comment number 35.

    As A brit living in Durban SA I can agree that FIFA organisation has been a dire in terms of helping the common fan. I was able to apply for England tickets as both a Brit and South African resident and did not get any. I have managed to get tickets to 2 England group games via asking around so decided to fly to cape town. Due to getting tickets late most flights were booked and I have paid almost £450 for an economy class ticket that would normally be about £100 at that time of the year. I got accomodation for our 1st game easily but am being charged a fortune for the cape town game. Some common sense would have been

    1. Make the group draw and then allocate matches to appropriate stadiums. This would have freed up more tickets for teams with large fan bases The most oversubscribed game is England v USA which is in one of the smallest stadiums, yet Nigeria v S. Korea is in a large stadium.

    2. The old system where teams with large supports play most group games in 1 area to cut down need for travel for the majority of games . This is important in SA where there is no decent rail infrastructure and limited flight capacity

    In summary I think SA have missed a trick in trying to sell themselves as a future tourist option. By letting FIFA and the airlines milk this event they have reduced the number of overseas visitors and even those that come will go back with the view of SA as an expensive place. if you can afford a package where all logistics are managed you will have a great time but I understand why fans who wanted to get their own tickets and make there own arrangements wont come because it is a nightmare to arrange and expensive

  • Comment number 36.


    As an expat I have to agree with you . Although my note above is critical of the organisation for visiting fans, for those who come do not worry about crime, the atmosphere in the games, etc etc, it will be great. Just a shame not enough true fans will come. If you use common sense you wont have a problem especially if you are in a group at night

    Go on safari, come to the beach in Durban, even go to some neighbouring countries if time etc etc. Enjoy

  • Comment number 37.

    plastic gooners since 1968.

    I support you fully,South Africa is a beautiful country,and im not saying this just because im a south african.Yes,the crime rate is high,i have been a victim of crime myself.I am a student,and i was reckless,but if your carefull,this won't happen to you.


    I was in brooklyn when this happened,waiting to get my tickets,but know how foolish and stupid the SAPS is,dont let this stop you from enjoying one of the greatest spectacles this world has ever seen.

  • Comment number 38.

    Re 27, Dray07. Andre. Thanks for your first hand account of what went on at the mall yesterday. I heard about it via twitter, and saw it conformed through Reuters yesterday. It must have been a dreadful experience for everyone involved. I will bring your account to the attention of the organisers and FIFA for their response. I'll post again if I get a reply. To everyone else, thanks very much for your comments, keep the debate going! Gordon

  • Comment number 39.

    Why are any of you surprised at what is going on in SA, or why SA got the tournament in the first place? Have none of you read Foul: The secret world of FIFA by Andrew Jennings.

  • Comment number 40.

    RE: Plastic Gooner since 1968

    I'm afraid that your comments DO make you stupid because you are judging people purely by the colour of their skin.

    Answer me this...

    1.How does speaking out against racism and bigotry make me a bigot???

    2.How can an admitted racist treat white and black with the same respect???

    You need to take a long hard look at yourself, sort your life out and start making some changes. People like you don't deserve a world cup on their doorstep.

    ps.If you're struggling to answer my questions i'll give you a hint.

    Answer 1: It doesn't (under any circumstances).
    Answer 2: They can't (under any circumstances).

  • Comment number 41.

    It's a pity for ordinary South Africans that something they wanted so much is falling to pieces before it's even begun.

    But I'm delighted that FIFA are once again being shown up for what they really are in front of the world: no longer fit for purpose if indeed they ever were. Football needs regime change.

  • Comment number 42.

    It is a pity that Andre at .27 chooses to exagerate and post lies about the situation. It is true that FIFA and the sales office failed to organise proper control, but it is no excuse for a small number of people, maybe including him, to behave like prehistoric creations fighting for the last remaining piece of food. Again, it was a small group who failed to adhere to requests and then instructions of the security and police.

    The lives of many were in danger. The police created space to move the group back, they created rows, but the group chose to bunch and bundle together, pushing the police to such an extent that the glass windows and doors nearly collapsed.

    After the first pepper spray, people were put in one row again, but pushed and bundeled, ignored the police to create a danger again, forcing the police to act.

    No teargas was used, no policeman had two pistols, nobody was beaten, but one guy who attacked a police officer was removed. The verbal abuse on the police was not neccessary.

    Most South Africans want to enjoy the SWC and they will do so. Bravo to the SAPS for taking control. They were even commended by a number of people on radio, even by those who had a taste of pepper spray. The next days of selling went smooth and many friendships were established in the rows of PATIENT supporters.

    Andre, your humiliation and degrading personal attacks is an indication of your character and maybe the matches will be better off without the likes of you present.

  • Comment number 43.

    Thank your for the information, i'll share this to my friend and tell them to drop by and check it out themselves.

    Tag: uk traveling

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    How come nothing has been done about all the tickets that Jack Warner alledgedly gets that somehow end up on the black market? Fans deserve better.


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