riddle of missing world cup tickets

WORLD Cup tickets meant for SA Football Association regions are allegedly not reaching intended beneficiaries.

This emerged after local football associations (LFA) in Ekurhuleni learnt that their tickets had been distributed - although they are yet to receive them.

Safa head of communications Morio Sanyane said they were unaware of the problem as no complaint had been brought to their attention.

Safa gives tickets to regional offices so they can be distributed to LFAs. Ekurhuleni has 14 active LFAs and two inactive ones.

The Dukathole LFA only received tickets for the Bafana Bafana versus Denmark friendly played in Pretoria days before the World Cup kicked off on June 11. The only World Cup match they attended was Slovenia vs Algeria at Peter Mokaba Stadium on June 15. In Eden Park, members received tickets for three matches. In Thembisa, they received tickets for two games.

Monde Gcuze of Vosloorus said: "The people who work in regional offices are not paid, and the World Cup games were the only token of thanks they would have got for their work. We want to know where the tickets are because they have been signed for. Clubs are questioning us about the games and we do not know how to answer them."

A letter from Match Hospitality to the regions states that they have been allocated tickets for at least 16 matches. But most regions have only received tickets for not more than three matches.

The number of tickets the LFAs receive depend on the matches. Sometimes they receive 15, 20 or 25 for a match. There are about 1000 tickets that are unaccounted for. LFAs are now accusing regional acting president Nicholas Nkosi of withholding them.

Nkosi, who has been assigned to collect the tickets, said: "So far, we have received tickets for between 85 and 90percent of the games. We have two sets of tickets - for executives and members and administrative staff. After picking up the tickets, they are taken to the regional office where they are allocated to LFAs.

"At some point I picked up 250 tickets and each LFA was given 17 tickets."

He denies that he has not been distributing tickets to members. "That is not correct. It is towards elections and all they want is to bad-mouth me. The regional office does the allocation."