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Fifa has introduced a new ticketing system for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which it said would greatly increase the number of tickets available for genuine football supporters.
David Will, chairman of the ticketing sub-committee for the World Cup, said last week Wednesday that the percentage of tickets for fans from countries qualifying for the finals would rise by 50 percent.
He also said a new collection system would go a long way to keeping tickets off the black market.
Will, in an interview in Johannesburg, said worldwide ticket sales would start next February.
Fans from teams involved in World Cup finals matches will now get 12 percent of the total stadium capacity for their matches, up from a previous total of eight percent.
This will apply in the first round only, after which the percentage will average about eight percent for the knockout phase matches.
Fifa will also no longer hand over the ticket allocation to the participating associations to sell or distribute, but instead will do it through MATCH, an organisation in Manchester, England, which runs Fifa's hospitality and accommodation programmes.
Will said a criteria had been established to ensure each country's allocation went to fans through supporters' clubs or other similar structures.
In countries where there are no formal supporters' club, the allocation would be sold via the Internet on specially created fan websites.
"We have always been criticised for too many tickets going to the fat cats but we are confident that at least 80 percent in 2010 will go to the general public," Will said.
"We have tried to simplify the system for the customer and help restrict the possibility for the parallel market." There will be five phases of sales of tickets, both through the Internet on www.fifa.com and also by written application.
The first phase will start on February 2 and run through to March 31 2009, with a random ballot to be held on April 15 2009 to determine the allocation of tickets.
Successful applicants would only be able to pick up their tickets once in South Africa.
They will be distributed through specially-created venue ticketing centres.
Three million tickets are expected to be available for the World Cup, although the absence of seating plans for South Africa's 10 new and refurbished venues meant the exact total would only be known "quite late in the day", Will added. - Reuters