As the final touches are being applied to South Africa's four upgraded stadiums and to the operational plans for the FIFA Confederations Cup, public interest in the tournament has intensified as ticket sales have considerably increased. From the 640.000 tickets issued for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 a total of 320,000 tickets have been sold as of today (28 April 2009). Among those, 55 per cent (175,000 tickets) have been requested by corporate clients.

With 46 days to the kick-off of the tournament on 14 June 2009 at the Ellis Park stadium with hosts South Africa playing Asian champions Iraq, there are about 320,000 tickets still available to the general public. Match 11, featuring Italy versus Brazil at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane/Pretoria, is sold out, and for the Final only category one tickets are still available. About 95 per cent of the tickets have been purchased by South Africans. This was reported at today's meeting of the Board of Directors of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC), which was attended by FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke.

"After opening the ticketing sales for the FIFA Confederations Cup to the corporate market two months ago, we are very pleased with the feedback of the local business community. We do hope, that with the opening of the ticketing centres we will now have a similar positive response of the general public", said FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke.

The first ticketing centre opens in Sandton/Johannesburg on 1 May 2009, in Rustenburg, Mangaung/Bloemfontein and Tshwane/Pretoria three days later (4 May 2009).

"From now on, with the launch of the ‘over the counter' sales in the Ticketing centres, we are convinced it will be even easier for our football supporters to obtain tickets. By simplifying the process we are certain South Africans will now find it easier to purchase their tickets and we hope this will create the necessary demand to sell out all matches for the tournament," emphasised Danny Jordaan, CEO of the Organising Committee.

The meeting of the Board of Directors was preceded by the OC's Annual General Meeting, which noted tremendous progress being made in preparing for Africa's first FIFA World Cup next year, as well as the more immediate staging of the FIFA Confederations Cup in June this year.

"We are very happy with the progress made and we are on course to deliver the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Our next major task is now to ensure that as many South African football fans as possible get to see world-class football at the Confederations Cup, this while in distinctive African fashion ensuring that the event is a unique and unforgettable experience," said OC Chairman Dr. Irvin Khoza, who stressed that South African football fans needed to get their tickets early and needed to arrive at stadiums well ahead of kick-off and sit in the seats allocated to them. An information campaign for fans, ensuring they're familiar with the stadium code of conduct in the lead-up to the tournament, will be rolled out ahead of the tournament.

The Board also decided today, after consultation with the South African government, to retain the skills and expertise of the country's former Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi as a member of the Board.

Security

A total of 8 000 members of the security services including South African Police Services, the army, metro police and emergency services, will be deployed in and around the Host Cities during the FIFA Confederations Cup. At the stadiums and their precincts the Organising Committee will use 3 445 stewards and private security guards. At least 700 stewards and private security guards will be operating on match days. Stewards, who will all be professionally accredited in the security industry, are currently being recruited and trained in the four Host Cities ahead of the tournament.

Transportation

OC Board Member and the country's Minister of Transport, Mr Jeff Radebe, updated the Board about transport preparations for the FIFA tournaments in 2009 and 2010, stressing that the Bus and Rapid Transit (BRT) public transport system was on track and that the route from Soweto to Johannesburg would be done in time for the FIFA Confederations Cup in June 2009.

"The infrastructure for the BRT system is going ahead unabated. The taxi industry has been involved in the implementation of the BRT system from inception and has been intimately involved with its establishment. The taxi industry is the nucleus of the BRT system and we have made a commitment that none of the taxi operators involved on that route (between Soweto and Johannesburg) will lose their jobs and that they will be incorporated into the new system," said Mr Radebe. He said what needed to be established now was the extent in which the taxi industry would be involved in the new company to be created to roll out the BRT system.

During the FIFA Confederations Cup, on match-days additional special football trains will operate on 12 identified corridors in Gauteng with the Ellis Park, Doornfontein, Loftus Versfeld and Rissik stations identified as key drop off areas during the tournament. Stations will be staffed until 2am on match days and protection services and railway police will be deployed at various stations. The customer service team will provide information to spectators on game and train information. The passenger rail agency will provide an additional 18 buses throughout the event to provide alternating services from Johannesburg and Pretoria to Rustenburg and Bloemfontein on match days.

Volunteers

Of the 4,000 volunteers selected for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2,000 have already received event and job-specific inductions in Johannesburg and Tshwane/Pretoria, with training scheduled for Rustenburg and Mangaung/Bloemfontein in May. Volunteers will assist the OC and FIFA in areas such as transport, media, ushering services, administration, spectator services and language support.

For further information please contact:
OC Chief of Communications, Rich Mkhondo, E-mail: rich.mkhondo@2010oc.com, Mobile: +27832010254

OC Media Manager, Jermaine Craig, E-mail: jermaine.craig@2010oc.com, Mobile: +27832010121

FIFA Media Officer Delia Fischer, E-mail: delia.fischer@fifa.org or mediaSA@fifa.org, Mobile: +2783 2010470,www.FIFA.com