World Cup cheap seats to cost you a miserly R140

Cheapskates will fork out a miserable R140 each for the lowest-priced tickets for the 2010 World Cup - the price of a family nosh-up at a humble take-away.

"We agreed on an exchange rate of R7 to one US dollar," local organising committee (LOC) chairman Irvin Khoza said yesterday after the monthly LOC board meeting in Johannesburg.

"We realise that the dollar rate of exchange will fluctuate between now and 2010. That means the LOC will bear the cost if the exchange rate goes above R7 to the dollar.

"The rate of exchange will be in force for next June's Confederations Cup as well."

Tickets for the Confederations Cup, which will run from June 14 to 28, will be on sale from November 23, the day after the competition draw in Johannesburg.

Tickets for the World Cup finals will go on sale in January next year.

The Confederations Cup boasts world champions Italy, South Africa as hosts and the six continental champions, Spain, Egypt, United States, Brazil, New Zealand and Iraq.

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said while the World Cup promoted itself, a lot of work was needed to promote the Confederations Cup.

But Bafana Bafana's slump in form is a serious concern to not only the public but to the LOC and to Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who arrived in South Africa on Sunday for a four-day courtesy visit.

Blatter was critical of Bafana for failing to qualify for the 2010 African Nations Cup finals in Angola.

Said Khoza: "France did not qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals and won the World Cup on home soil in 1998.

"Germany were written off before the 2006 World Cup and they ended third.

"So I am hopeful Bafana will produce the goods in 2010."

But Khoza admitted Bafana faced a much more serious challenge in 2010 than Germany and France.

"We do not have too many players in top leagues in Europe," Khoza said.

"Also our players seem to have shrunk in size since 1996 compared with the west Africans."

Khoza said the solution was to pump more money into the Premier Soccer League.

"We must also make sure the South African Football Association gives the Bafana technical team as much support as they can and hopefully Bafana will rediscover how to score goals."

Blatter and Valcke met former president Nelson Mandela yesterday afternoon in Johannesburg, where they presented Madiba with a replica of the World Cup trophy. - Sapa