Confed lags behind 2010

During the first eight hours of second phase World Cup ticket sales on Tuesday a whopping 185 000 applications were registered with Fifa.

During the first eight hours of second phase World Cup ticket sales on Tuesday a whopping 185 000 applications were registered with Fifa.

The demand for tickets for the eight-nation Confederation Cup - now less than 40 days away - was less spectacular.

Though 340000 of the 640000 tickets for the Confederations Cup have now been sold, the figure has been greatly inflated courtesy of a sympathetic business sector and government departments, who have purchased 175 000 - leaving a modest 165000 direct sales by soccer fans.

In effect, the corporate purchases will fall in the category of complimentary admission as the buyers either distribute tickets to their staff and other sources free of charge, or in some instances have organised competitions with Confederation Cup admission as prizes.

The fear of officials in this respect is that a fair number of those who find themselves in possession of tickets might not make use of them - particularly when it comes to less crowd-pulling encounters like those between New Zealand and Iraq, and Egypt and the United States.

The surge for next year's World Cup has been a great deal more spectacular, with a further 100 000 tickets now on sale in the second phase on a first-come-first-serve basis.

And, in the context of the Confederations Cup, Fifa and South Africa's Local Organising Committee are hopeful that the opening of outlets where tickets are now being sold direct to the South African public will result in significantly improved sales.

Around 95 percent of Confed Cup tickets have been sold locally. - Sapa

X