More than 300000 online ticket applications for the 2010 Soccer World Cup were received within 48 hours of the opening of ticket sales, the Cup's local organising committee said yesterday.
"This is a very happy moment," the committee's chief executive Danny Jordaan said at Durban's Moses Mabhida Visitors' Centre.
This figure excludes thousands of other applications being processed through First National Bank branches countrywide.
"The fever is already palpable within South Africa and all around the world, everyone wants to take part in this extraordinary event," said Jordaan.
The sale, which started on Friday, was not on a first come first serve basis. In the first phase of ticket sales, fans have until midnight on March 31 this year to make ticket applications on the www.fifa.com website.
All applicants who register correctly will have an equal opportunity to get tickets, as a random draw will take place on April 15 to determine who gets tickets for oversubscribed matches.
Jordaan said black market tickets were a major problem at any event.
"The demand for tickets is always greater than the supply."
It was for this reason that those buying tickets had to add their personal details to the ticket application forms.
"Football hooligans may constitute a threat and it will not be allowed at the stadium ... the ticket has to have your name on it," said Jordaan.
He said Fifa would act harshly against those caught perpetrating such a crime.
Jordaan noted that there were many other implications when it came to the resale of tickets, but said: "We will try our best because we will not allow it."
He also praised the work done on Moses Mabhida Stadium, describing it as "a world-class venue".
Jordaan, who has worked on at least five World Cups, said the stadium in Durban may well be declared the best stadium for the event.
"And that should give Durban a significant edge ... it is one of the best stadiums in the world ... people thought it was impossible to build the stadium and the arch but it was done and it's also clear that it will be ready on time.
"Where in the world can you go on top of an arch and have a view of the coastline.
"Nowhere in the world would you find this. It's one of a kind," said Jordaan. - Sapa