Applying to buy tickets to the 2010 World Cup when the online sales office opened at 1pm last Friday was a complicated transnational team effort involving all my closest relatives, 21 friends, 112 tickets, five hours, four provinces and more than one major tantrum. And we have only just entered what Fifa calls ”the first sales phase”.
As a mercy service to other families considering applying for World Cup tickets, here’s how we eventually did it.
Step 1 — do the maths
Go online and decide which games you wish to attend and where. There are a number of challenging packages available. For example D3 vs D4 in category 160, round of 16 IF vs 2E. If you’re a wheelchair user, it’s more complicated. Double-check which cities your chosen games are in. It would be a shame to arrive at Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane with your vuvuzela only to find that Brazil and South Africa are playing the final at Soccer City in Johannesburg.
Step 2 — phone a friend
Each applicant may apply for four tickets per game for a maximum of seven games. That’s 28 possible tickets per person.
To bulk up your numbers in the ”random selection” phase, make sure you register three other guests per game. For seven games that’s a total of 21 additional tickets. You’ll need to get all their ID numbers and personal details. This takes hours, so try to pick guests who won’t break up with you/die of old age/emigrate before 2010.
Step 3 — don’t waste time shopping for the best deal
If you’re South African, you already have it. An ID book is all you need to access the host country discount on all ticket prices. For example: an opening match ticket for South Africans costs R490. For everyone else the price is from R1 400 to R3 150. You don’t have to bribe anyone to get this discount. Not even Carl Niehaus. But there is one special offer that doesn’t sound like much of a bargain: for R3 735 you can buy a ticket that will get you in to every Bafana Bafana game, all the way through. As all the way through is unlikely, I’d advise against it. For the record, most of the rest of my family disagrees.
Step 4 – relax, take your time why don’t ya?
Like hundreds of thousands of worldwide fans, my family was ready and waiting and hunched over various computers and cellphones at the stroke of 1pm last Friday when the Fifa online sales office opened — only to discover that, even though filling in the application form is a bit like an exam, it is not a race. The ”first sales phase” continues until March 31. Ticket applications are not on a first-come-first-served basis, so we scored no advantage by being among the first 300 000 people to register online. Except to be able to tell our grandchildren that we were among the first 300 000 people to register online. Is this a white thing?
Step 5 — don’t let it break up your relationship
If I end up with a ticket to the final and my husband doesn’t, I’ll give it to him. The payback potential is limitless.
To apply for tickets go to www.fifa.com