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FIFA give free tickets for 2010 World Cup

November 24, 2007 22:09 IST
FIFA will give 120,000 free tickets to South African residents for matches at the 2010 World Cup finals, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke announced on Saturday.

The organising committee of the first World Cup to be held in Africa also decided that, to make the finals as affordable as possible for home fans, the cheapest tickets for first round matches, apart from the opening game, would cost $20.

The committee also confirmed the seedings for Sunday's preliminary round draw for the qualifying competitions in Asia, CONCACAF, Europe and Africa. The South American and Oceania competitions are already underway.

England, who fell out of the top group of European seeds after losing to Croatia in their Euro 2008 qualifier this week, joined the second group as expected.

The top European seeds will be world champions Italy, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Croatia and European champions Greece.

The match schedule was also confirmed with the finals starting on June 11 and ending on July 11.

Three kickoff times were announced as 1pm local time (1100 GMT), 4pm and 8pm, with the World Cup kicking off at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. Opening day matches will also be played in Cape Town, Rustenburg and Port Elizabeth.

It was announced on Friday that South African residents would be able to purchase specially-priced cheap tickets for the finals.

The most expensive first round tickets, apart from the opening match, which will cost $450, will be $160. The cheapest second round tickets will cost $50, while the cheapest for the semi-finals will be $100.

The most expensive ticket for the final will be priced at $900 and the cheapest category four ticket will be $150.

Valcke told a news conference that between 2.8 and 3.0 million tickets will be available. The cheapest would account for 12-15 per cent of the total which will be finalised when the stadium seating plans are known in two years' time.


As well as these Category Four tickets being sold, Valcke added: "the cost of the 120,000 free tickets in that category will be met by FIFA's commercial partners."

It will be decided shortly whether those free tickets would be given away as prizes through the commercial partners competitions, or handed out on a first come, first served basis.

Valcke said measures would be taken to ensure the free and cheap tickets would not be sold on to fans overseas.

"We are working on measures to make sure there is no black market," he added.

Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the local organising committee, added: "We cannot announce the measures three years beforehand as people will try to develop counter-measures.

"Our target is the poor football fans in this country and if there is someone in an England shirt or Belgium shirt in that seat we will know something has gone wrong."

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said he expected all the stadiums would be ready in time and that in order to minimise labour disruptions construction workers will be given an annual bonus if they do not strike.

(Reporting by Mike Collett; editing by Trevor Huggins)

Mike Collett
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