20 February 2009
The 2010 Fifa World Cup kick-off on 11 June 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa is still 475 days away, but for football fans around the world, another important date has arrived: tickets for the event are now on sale to the general public.
Of the 1.65-million World Cup tickets that Fifa has allocated to the general public, just over 570 000 have been set aside for Fifa member country supporters, and 344 000 for tourists who book with Fifa-registered tour operators.
That leaves a total of 743 965 tickets that anyone, from anywhere in the world including South Africa, can apply to buy – as of today.
Fans can apply online, through www.fifa.com, or over the counter at any First National Bank (FNB) branch in South Africa – and either way stand an equal chance of successfully booking tickets.
All ticket orders will be entered into a random selection draw at the same time on 15 April 2009, regardless of whether they were submitted on the first or the last day of the first sales phase, which runs from 20 February to 31 March.
Ticket types and prices
Fans have the choice of match-specific tickets for the 64 games to be played in the tournament, as well as team-specific ticket series that allow them to follow the country of their choice. These range from three-game ticket series (for three games involving the same country) to seven-game ticket series.
Tickets are available in four categories, with prices that vary accordingly. Category 4 tickets are reserved exclusively for South African residents, and were priced the lowest to enable citizens of the host country who would not normally be able to afford World Cup tickets to see the games.
While seating may vary from venue to venue, category 1 seats are generally located alongside the pitch, and range in price from US$160 (for a group match) to $900 (for the final). South Africans paying in rands will pay R1 120 and R6 300 respectively for the same tickets, with a fixed exchange rate of R7 to the dollar being applied.
Category 2 seats are generally located alongside category 1 seats, in the corners, and range in price from US$120 (for a group match) to $600 (for the final).
Category 3 seats are generally located alongside category 2 seats, in the corners or behind the goals, and range in price from US$80 (for a group match) to $400 (for the final).
Category 4 seats are located behind the goals, and range in price from R140 (for a group match) to R1 050 (for the final).
There’s also an incentive for people bound to wheelchairs to follow the World Cup live. The wheelchair category of tickets, reserved for those who require wheelchairs to attend matches, cost the same as category 4 seats, regardless of where they are located – and include a complimentary ticket for the person accompanying the ticketholder to the match.
Subsequent ticket sales phases
Any tickets left over from the first, “random selection” phase – or released by any of Fifa’s other customer groups – will be sold in a second, “first-come-first-served” sales phase running from 4 May to 16 November 2009.
Two more sales phases – a random selection followed again by a first-come-first-served phase – will follow the World Cup Final Draw, in which the 32 participating teams will be drawn into eight groups for the tournament. The first of these sales phases will run from 5 December 2009 to 22 January 2010, and the second from 9 February to 7 April 2010.
Finally, if there are still any tickets left over, these will be sold in a “last minute” sales phase running from 15 April to 11 July 2010.
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See: Using SAinfo material