2010 World Cup tickets on sale

Fans in typical headgear made from
plastic hardhats at a match between
national squad Bafana Bafana and Equatorial
Guinea in Pretoria in June 2008. (Image:
Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com.
For more photos, visit the image library.)

[Image] The prepaid ticket card, issued to South
Africans who buy their tickets at branches
of First National Bank.
(Image: South Africa 2010)

Janine Erasmus

The first tranche of tickets for the long-awaited 2010 Fifa World Cup are on sale from today – the first of five buying opportunities, each to be administered differently to give all fans an equal chance of securing tickets.

Phase One runs from 20 February until 31 March 2009. In this phase football fans are required to submit an application form for their tickets. There are two ways to do this – first, apply for their tickets online at Fifa’s website by signing up for the Fifa.com Club. This applies to both international and local fans. Alternatively, South African residents may go to any First National Bank (FNB) branch and submit their applications in person.

Those applying online must have credit card details ready. Once all applications have been processed, a text message will be sent to all applicants to advise them of the success or failure of their bid. If successful, the relevant credit card must be used to collect printed tickets at stadiums and other designated points in each of the nine host cities. These points will only be operational from April 2010. The total value will be deducted from the credit card only if the application is approved.

Those applying at FNB branches must have the funds ready as they will be required to pay upfront. All applicants will receive an FNB Visa Zakumi prepaid card, to the value of the tickets purchased. The green-haired leopard Zakumi is the official mascot of the 2010 sporting spectacle.

Again, applicants will receive a text message to advise them whether their bid has been successful or not. If successful, the prepaid card must be used to collect printed tickets at stadiums and other designated points in the nine host cities. If unsuccessful, the money on the card may be used at any Visa retailer in South Africa, or may be refunded at any FNB branch.

All applications received during this phase will be processed at the same time, and every fan who registers correctly will have an equal chance, so it makes no difference whether bids are submitted on the first or last day of the phase.

If there are more tickets than applications, all applications will succeed and there will be no disappointed fans. If there are more applications than tickets, a random draw scheduled for 15 April 2009 will ensure that tickets are allocated fairly.

Phase Two runs from 4 May to 16 November 2009. These applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis, so time will be of the essence.

Phase Three runs from 5 December 2009 to 22 January 2010, when tickets will be allocated through a random draw on 1 February of that year.

Phase Four runs from 9 February to 7 April 2010. As in Phase Two, tickets will be allocated in the order in which applications are received – the earlier the better.

Phase Five runs from 15 April to 11 June 2010, in the last-minute sales phase. Application forms will not be used; instead, tickets may be bought in real time – subject to availability – on the Fifa website and at FNB branches.

To watch a video that gives step-by-step instructions on how to apply for your tickets, visit Shine 2010.

Package deal

Team-specific tickets (TST) are available for those who wish to closely follow the progress of a specific team. Those wanting to buy TST packages must apply for at least three matches, up to a maximum of seven. These are then guaranteed, even if the team in question is eliminated. Remaining games are not forfeited, as fans may then choose to follow the progress of a team that does make it to the next round.

There are four TST packages from which to choose – for instance, a TST3 packages gives access to your team’s three group matches, while a TST4 package means you can attend the three group matches and the next stage game – the round of 16, which is the first of three elimination stages and is followed by the quarter- and semi-finals. A TST7 package means you can attend games right up to the final and third place playoff.

Four categories

Fifa 2010 World Cup tickets are available in four categories, and the price depends on the location in the stadium as well as the stage of the tournament. Group games are more affordable than those in the elimination rounds.

  • Category 1 – in the front alongside the pitch;
  • Category 2 – adjacent to Category 1 seats, but in the corners;
  • Category 3 – adjacent to Category 2 tickets, in the corners further up in the stands, or behind the goals;
  • Category 4 – behind the goals.

Category 4 tickets are reserved exclusively for South African residents are may only be bought using the local currency. Category 4 applicants must provide proof of residence as a security measure. The remaining three categories are available to all, both local residents and international visitors.

Prices range from the cheapest, a R140 ($14) Category 4 group match ticket, to a whopping R6 300 ($632) for a Category 1 ticket alongside the field at the final. The cheapest ticket for the final is Category 4, at R1 050 ($105).

Tickets for the opening game are priced from R490 ($49) for Category 4, to R3 150 ($316) for Category 1.

Prices, say Fifa, are the lowest for a World Cup in many years, and are better priced than the cheapest tickets for both the Japan/South Korea and the German events.

Fans need not worry that fluctuating exchange rates will affect their chances of affording a ticket. For the duration of the World Cup the exchange rate has been fixed at R7 to the dollar. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) will bear the extra cost should the rate go any higher.

Hints for supporters

While LOC CEO Danny Jordaan advises fans to get their applications in early, fans should also remember that the final draw only takes place on 4 December 2009 just before Phase Three of ticket sales. Those who are supporting specific teams may want to first wait to see where their favourites are scheduled to play, in the early rounds at least.

“People should remember that they won’t be able to buy a match ticket on the morning of the game or at the gate,” warned Jordaan. “South Africans have to buy their tickets early.”

While it may be risky waiting for the draw, fans will rest assured that they will be in the stands when their favourite team takes to the field.

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