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2,000 fans to watch Bafana against Zimbabwe on November 11, but they'll have to fork out R100 for a ticket

Sazi Hadebe Sports reporter
There was a jovial mood at the FNB Stadium as fans went back to live soccer for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year.
HAPPY DAYS There was a jovial mood at the FNB Stadium as fans went back to live soccer for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year.
Image: Alon Skuy

Over 1,500 football fans who want to watch Bafana Bafana’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe at the FNB Stadium on November 11 will have to fork out R100 per ticket, Stadium Management SA announced in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Stadium Management SA CEO Bertie Grobbelaar added that only 2,000 spectators in total will be allowed to watch the penultimate Group G match.

The match will kick off at 9pm and those who want to buy tickets will have to do so online (www.ticketmaster.co.za website) from noon on Friday (tomorrow), Grobbelaar said.

“On sale there will 1,584 tickets to be sold to the general public. 200 of those will be complimentary tickets to be issued by Safa (SA Football Association) to their stakeholders.

“There’s 216 left for VIP guests and the event organisers, Safa, will also distribute those to the relevant people.”

He said tickets would be sold in twos and no single tickets would be available. 

“It is important to remember that when you register to buy a ticket the names of both people should be provided on the website and the ticket will be issued per name,” said Grobbelaar.

Safa’s chief medical officer Dr Thulani Ngwenya added that all those who want to attend the game must be fully vaccinated and will be required to produce a vaccination certificate, match tickets and their identification in order to gain entry into the stadium.

The Bafana match against Zimbabwe will be the second to have fans after Safa kicked off the drive to have them back with last month’s qualifier against Ethiopia that Hugo Broos’ side won 1-0 at  home to remain one point clear of Ghana on top of their group with two matches to go.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in March 2020, there have been no fans allowed at sporting venues. But after the government recently relaxed the lockdown rules, the sports ministry announced that the various sporting codes can apply to have a maximum of 2,000 spectators at stadiums.

Ngwenya said Safa were hoping to have more than 2,000 spectators for the Zimbabwe match but government rules, which have not changed, dictated that the association stick to the same numbers they had in the last match against Ethiopia.

Ngwenya and Grobbelaar said hosting matches with such a few spectators cost a lot more than having a decent crowd on the stands and that’s why they’re pushing for the government to further relax the rules.

“To be honest with you, it cost a lot more,” said Grobbelaar without disclosing the numbers.

“There’s no way with 2,000 spectators you can come close to covering the costs of all of those additional costs. At this point as stadium management we’re assisting by reducing our rates and providing discounts, but the costs are carried by Safa.”

Ngwenya said they want people back at the stadiums but full capacity can only happen when the country achieves herd immunity, meaning over 40 million people should be vaccinated in SA.

“We want to bring back football to where it’s supposed to be,” said Ngwenya.

“Having 2000 spectators is not sustainable and that’s why you won’t have the professional league (PSL) having 2,000 spectators day in and out because it’s not sustainable.

“It’s actually very expensive. But what I like is these lessons we’re getting here are going to help us in opening up for more spectators.

“The most important thing over and above everything is to make sure that the lives of our people are not compromised.”