2 April 2009
Over 1.6-million ticket applications from 205 countries were made for the 2010 Fifa World Cup in the first round of sales, with locals counting for 30% of applications, and most overseas interest coming from the US followed by the UK, Germany, Italy and Australia.
Fifa announced on Wednesday that it received 1 635 136 applications from fans across 205 countries since tickets went on sale on 20 February.
Although there were some complaints from local fans about the difficulties in getting their applications in, the world football governing body said the first phase had gone well.
“This impressive total underlines the extraordinary level of interest all over the globe,” said 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) chief executive Danny Jordaan.
South African residents made around 30% of the 1.6-million requests for seats.
Of the 70% from the rest of the world, most came from the United States followed by Britain, Germany, Italy and Australia. According to Fifa, the international price starts at US$80 for a seat at a group-stage match.
The most popular requests on the 64-match programme were for the opening game on 11 June and the final on 11 July. Both will be played at the Soccer City stadium to the south of Johannesburg, which is being upgraded to hold 94 700 spectators.
In price terms, the most popular tickets were the category 3 tickets or second-cheapest tickets. The cheapest category four tickets are reserved for South African residents.
“It is very pleasing to see the huge global interest in the first African Fifa World Cup,” said Jordaan.
Since the first sales phase was on a random-selection, draw basis, applicants will only be told if they were successful after the draw on 15 April.
According to the LOC, applicants will be informed, either via email or SMS, by the end of this month at the latest, letting them know whether their application was successful or not.
In total, around three million purchasable tickets are available for the tournament, which is being held next year for the first time on the African continent.
Further ticket sales
The second of five ticket sales begins on 4 May, during when tickets will then be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and Jordaan urged South Africans to get their tickets as soon as the second phase ticket sale began.
“We want to encourage even more South Africans and Africans to apply for their World Cup tickets during the next sales phase, so they do not miss out on this unique once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.
In phase three, all applications will be considered, and if the demand exceeds availability a random draw will take place. Allocations in phase four will happen on a first come, first served basis, while the last phase will see ticket transactions taking place at the point of sale.