AN EMBARRASSING number of ticket applications have been received in Africa for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, with the third phase sales deadline fast approaching.
The organisers of the event are disappointed considering that less than 100000 tickets have been sold for the tournament on the continent.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) has expressed is disappointment and concern at the poor sales of the tickets.
LOC chairperson Irvin Khoza repeated his call to South Africa and the continent to start applying for tickets.
"During our bidding process, we (South Africa) made it clear this will be an African World Cup. We want all our people to support the six African teams. It is important to remember this event might not come back to our shores in our lifetime.
"We have to show the world that we are passionate about soccer by filling up the stadiums. The first step is to apply for tickets."
Khoza's sentiments were echoed by LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan, who said: "It is a cause for concern that very few tickets have been sold in Africa.
"It is strange because the World Cup will be played on our continent for the first time in history, we just hope the attitude of our people will change soon."
Usually, the host country tops the ticket sales list but Bafana's specific match tickets are selling at a snail's pace.
"At this stage England will have more supporters at their games than we will have at our matches," Jordaan said.
SA-born actress Charlize Theron said: "I have already applied for my ticket and will be coming back home to support the matches."
Those who have not bought tickets are urged to apply before January 22 on the Fifa website or at any FNB branch.