17 August 2009
Fifa is to give away over 120 000 category four World Cup tickets to 20 000 stadium construction workers and thousands of youngsters involved in community programmes aligned with the Ticket Fund initiative – a first in the 80-year history of the tournament.
Speaking at the launch of the World Cup Ticket Fund in Johannesburg last week, Local Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan said 40 000 of these tickets would be given to 20 000 construction workers, each worker receiving two tickets for a group stage match at the stadium they had helped to build.
The remaining 80 000 tickets will be issued as a reward to thousands of South Africans, particularly youngsters, who are involved in programmes aimed at encouraging participation in football and community-oriented initiatives.
These programmes range from making children and young adults aware of health issues, to equipping people with financial literacy skills to manage their lives better, to raising awareness of the need to protect the environment to score “green goals”.
The 80 000 tickets will be distributed via the six Fifa partners involved with these programmes: Adidas, Hyundai/Kia, Sony, Coca-Cola, Emirates and Visa.
- Encouraging learning – Adidas, in partnership with the Department of Education and the 2010 Organising Committee, will award 15 000 tickets to encourage children participating in educational and soccer activities that form part of the official schools campaign, My 2010 School Adventure.
- Protecting the environment – Building on a partnership with the South African Department of Education established at the Fifa Confederations Cup, Coca-Cola aims to create a generation of environmentally aware children when they roll out a recycling programme to grade 8 to 12 students in schools across South Africa. 20 000 tickets have been assigned to this project.
- Healthy lifestyles – Kia Motors will partner with South African development organisation Sporting Chance to run street soccer leagues and health education programmes in some of South Africa’s poorest communities. 5 000 tickets have been assigned to this project.
- Combating HIV/Aids – Sony has teamed up with Grassroots Soccer, a South African non-profit organisation that uses football to promote HIV/Aids awareness among children and young adults across South Africa. 15 000 tickets have been assigned to this project.
- Financial literacy – Through Visa’s financial literacy roadshows, low-income workers in the industrial and tourism sectors will get the opportunity to learn basic financial skills. 5 000 tickets have been assigned to this project.
Emirates and Hyundai have also confirmed their commitment to the Ticket Fund, with plans to award 15 000 and 5 000 tickets respectively.
The Ticket Fund initiative will therefore not end when the final whistle is blown on 11 July 2010, but “will mark only the beginning of long-term partnerships that will continue to create opportunities for South Africans for years to come,” Fifa said in a statement.
The Fund “aims to use the excitement and passion for the game in the country as a tool to motivate and engage people, particularly young South Africans, on topics such as education, health and the environment.”
Jordaan said that despite the “massive global demand for tickets to the tournament, we are doing all we can to ensure South African residents are well represented in the stadiums with their unique vibrancy and spirit.”
The Ticket Fund was also a way of showing appreciation “for the critical role played by the thousands of construction workers whose skill and dedication has made this project a vivid reality.”