South Africa heeds call to buy World Cup tickets

SOUTH Africans are heeding the call by their soccer and political leaders to apply for tickets for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, with 386300 requests having been made to date.

SOUTH Africans are heeding the call by their soccer and political leaders to apply for tickets for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, with 386300 requests having been made to date.

This comes after Fifa announced yesterday that the number of tickets applied for hit the 500000 mark within the first 10 days of the phase-three batch going on sale.

The remaining 114237 applications for tickets come from around the globe. Fifa are also happy with the surge in local ticket sales, saying the number of applications is impressive compared with those for previous World Cup finals.

Local Organising Committee chairperson Irvin Khoza said the change in attitude of South Africans bodes well for the success of the World Cup.

"The latest developments around the tickets sales are positive, but we will forever call on our people to buy team-specific tickets," Khoza said.

"When we were in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia's capital), we made a commitment that all African teams would be supported. The World Cup is on our doorstep."

The US still leads the list of foreign countries for this sales phase, which opened a day after the final draw, with 22942 tickets.

The US is followed by the United Kingdom (20232), Mexico (7981), Germany (7697), Australia (6277) and Brazil (4760).

Fifa ticketing subcommittee chairperson Horst Schmidt congratulated South Africans for heeding the call to apply for more tickets.

LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan said: "By buying a ticket, South Africans buy not only a seat to watch a match, but also their spot in South African history."

South Africans have the choice of going to an FNB branch to apply for a ticket or visiting www.fifa.com.

The current (third) sales phase will run until January 22.

More than onemillion tickets for all 64 matches and categories are available in this phase, including a limited number for the opening match and the final.

Fifa said that in the event of oversubscribed matches or price categories, there will be a random electronic draw on February 1.

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