The Soweto township in Johannesburg gained international notoriety during South Africa’s struggle against apartheid. However today, Soweto was the perfect backdrop for the launch of the 2010 FIFA World South Africa™ Ticket.
The recently-launched Ticket will be available in a week’s time when the fifth and the last ticketing sales phase kicks-off on 15 April. About 500,000 tickets will be available for a total of 63 out of the 64 FIFA World Cup matches. The ticket has unique features and a barcode. It also contains information about the venue, the match number, match date, seat category, kick-off time, price, fixture, name of the applicant, colour sector and seat location.
Thami Segrotho, who hails from Soweto, was among the first to see the new ticket at the launch at Maponya Mall. Clearly impressed, he has now vowed to be among the first ones to get their hands on the ticket when it is made available to the general public next week.
He plans to use the over-the-counter sales initiative that will commence in South Africa next week. This will take place in all the nine host cities around the host country. South African residents can also purchase the tickets at the FNB branches and selected Shoprite/Checkers stores.
For the global audience, however, the system will remain the same. Fans will have to log on to FIFA.com to purchase a ticket. Segrotho did not buy a ticket in any of the last four phase and is therefore enthusiastic about being afforded yet another opportunity to purchase a ticket.
“For a while, I have been indecisive on whether to attend the matches at the stadiums, but after considerations, I changed my mind. I cannot afford not to be part of this event as I think it will be the last FIFA World Cup to be hosted in my country in my lifetime. A lot has been said in the papers about it, but for us, it’s about being part of history and showcasing the passion that our people have for football,” Segrotho said.
Amos Gopane saw the ticket on television, two hours after it was unveiled. He too was impressed with what he saw.
“After I saw it, I think I was even more excited about this World Cup. I know that many South Africans are looking forward to this tournament, it’s a big moment for all of us and for our country,” Gopane said. He is one of the thousands of applicants who will queue at several Ticketing Centres in South Africa, in order to book their seat in history.
Speaking at the launch of the ticket this morning, FIFA Secretary General, Jerome Valcke said he was anticipating a last-rush from fans when the fifth ticketing sales phase open.
“We said from day one when South Africa won the rights to win the FIFA World Cup that we can’t have empty seats. I’m very happy with the progress that has been made in the last four ticketing phases. What is important now is to seal the remaining tickets. This is the first FIFA World Cup in Africa, this is Africa’s first opportunity to show the rest of the world that it’s also capable to successfully host events of this magnitude. In a country where less than half of the population has access to internet, the over-the-counter sales have come as a welcomed innovation.
CEO of the 2010 Organising Committee, Danny Jordaan said his country’s commitment to leave a lasting memory in the minds of those who will make the trip to South Africa in June/July. “We don’t want the (World Cup) experience to end at the stadiums or the match venues, we want to go beyond that. People who visit our country must be able to enjoy many aspects of our culture and visit many iconic sites,” Jordaan said.