April 14, 2010
Pictured: organising committe chairman Danny Jordaan with a giant ticket he probably didn't pay for.
So it turns out people aren't snapping up tickets for this summer's World Cup in beautiful yet violent and price-gougey South Africa the way FIFA brazenly expected them to. How many tickets do they still have to sell with just two months to go until the tournament? Well, a lot.
From the Guardian:
Half a million unsold World Cup tickets will go on sale in South African supermarkets and shopping malls from Thursday, with FIFA officials hoping to avoid the "tragic" spectacle of half-empty stadiums at this summer's tournament.
The final phase of sales will involve ticket selling points being set up in shopping malls in the nine host cities plus a network of popular supermarkets. Tickets are still available for all 64 matches except the final at Soccer City in Johannesburg on 11 July.
Two months away and only the final has sold out? That doesn't sound good. Also, when FIFA starts throwing around words like "tragic" in regards to ticket sales, you know they're sweating like Sepp Blatter in his baby seal fueled sauna.
It will be the first time fans can buy tickets over the counter in cash – the preferred method of purchasing for South African football fans, many of who are on low incomes.
FIFA had previously insisted on selling tickets only through its website or in a complicated ballot procedure at a local bank branch, prompting local criticism.
Many South Africans complained the process excluded people without web access, credit cards or the disposable income to pay for their tickets months in advance. Ticket prices are also well above normal for top-level football in South Africa.
Ah yes, trying to sell expensive tickets to low-income fans. Genius. But selling tickets in supermarkets and malls should help, especially if South Africans buy them by the bunches instead of silly stuff like food and clothing.
As horrible as it would be to see a World Cup not go well, FIFA really have no one to blame but themselves if this is anything less than the smashing success that every World Cup naturally should be.
Photo: Getty Images