There are less than 100 days to go before the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off in South Africa. “The number of tickets sold for the 2010 Soccer World Cup tournament has reached the 2.24 million mark”, said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke on Thursday. “We are satisfied that we’ve sold 2.2 million tickets,” Valcke told media in Johannesburg.
“To ensure that more South Africans benefited from the remaining tickets, re-categorised tickets have been increased from 11 percent to 29 percent”, said local organising committee (LOC) CEO Danny Jordaan. “Football fans in South Africa are working class people of low income. Had we not moved the percentage of tickets in category four to 29 percent a lot of South Africans would not have afforded the tickets. The idea is to make the World Cup affordable,” said Jordaan, adding that the cheaper tickets were only available to South Africans.
The tickets cost US $17 (R133) for a group match and US $100 (R782) for a ticket to the final.
“To ensure that stadiums hosting the games met the required standards, a committee to monitor the pitches has been formed”, said LOC chairman Irvin Khoza. He cited Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit as one such stadium where a pitch had to be uprooted to make way for a new one which will also be viable for the harsh winter weather.
“While the pitch at Soccer City (the stadium set to host the opening and closing matches) was satisfactory, some work still had to be done on the stadium itself,” said Valcke. “Yesterday (Wednesday), I went to Soccer City… there’s still some work to do but in terms of the pitch, it’s OK… you can actually have a game there. The stadium looks beautiful inside,” he said.
This article was published in The Star on the 25th of February 2010.