The 2010 Fifa World Cup local organising committee (LOC) confirmed on Monday that moves are afoot to change the way tickets are sold in South Africa in order to accommodate local fans.
Speaking to BuaNews, World Cup organising chief Danny Jordaan said the LOC had raised the matter with Fifa and it would be discussed at the next executive meeting to be held in Zurich.
At the moment, tickets can be bought by filling in application forms at First National Bank branches or fans can apply for tickets online.
The process has sparked an outcry from football fans, who have complained that it was just too complicated to secure tickets for Africa’s first World Cup tournament.
Some soccer analysts have also pointed out that ordinary soccer supporters in South Africa may not be familiar with the internet and any other technology used to apply for the world cup tickets.
“We are definitely in the process of changing this, and as a member of the ticketing committee, I am confident Fifa will understand our position,” Jordaan said.
While Jordaan last week raised concerns about the pace of ticket sales among South Africans, Fifa spokesperson Delia Fischer told the Mail & Guardian Online that 50% of tickets sold during the first two sales phases have been snapped up by South Africans — 361 000 of 672 000.
Fans can expect to buy their tickets over the counter from April, but Fischer warned that they may be disappointed by the choice of tickets available then.
“Over-the-counter sale was always scheduled to start by April 15. However, tickets will be sold subject to availability and probably the best tickets to the most popular matches will be gone by then. Fans waiting until then really risk missing out,” said Fischer
While Fischer concedes that the system might not have been ideal for the South African situation, she says the ticketing system was introduced to ensure fans from across the globe had an equal opportunity to attend the soccer showpiece.
Meanwhile, Fifa announced new measures to facilitate fans’ access to match tickets for this year’s event.
These include the creation of a new sales phase between February 9 and April 7 to ensure fans from the qualified associations have more time and easier access to tickets to watch their teams.
The arrangement will only cater for supporters of the participating member associations (PMAs) and add to previously taken measures directed at South African residents.
The move comes as World Cup excitement continues to grow with only a week before the closing of the third ticket sales phase for the general public on January 22. — Sapa