next best thing to a seat in stadium

IF YOU have not bought your ticket to watch the world's top footballers in action live do not despair.

You will still have the privilege to say I was there. Numerous fan parks will welcome soccer lovers.

People will be able to watch their favourite teams screened live on giant screens.

That is not all. Festivities will be lined up.

In Johannesburg two venues - at Elkah Stadium in Soweto and Innes Free Park in Sandton - have already been confirmed as fan parks.

According to a source at Match World, the agency organising the fan parks, there will be a star-studded entertainment line-up of local and international stars from June 11 to July 11 when the last match is played.

These parks will have a main grass area where fans are free to sit, stand or picnic; a gallery where premium seating will be available and a private hospitality area for those prepared to pay for their comfort.

The Elkah Stadium will accommodate 45000 people and Innes Free Park 30000 fans.

The agency spokesperson said yesterday they were still finalising the transport and parking facilities, but promised the parks would be ready for the kickoff.

The South African Police Service, metro police, emergency personnel and private security will be out in numbers to protect and help the crowds.

For security purposes fans will only be allowed to buy refreshments at the parks. They will not be allowed to bring their own.

A beer garden and restaurants will be set up.