Just hours after the Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ was broadcast to a global television audience of 200 million people, and the 32 teams were placed into their groups, tickets for the third phase of sales were released. Armed with the knowledge of exactly which teams will be playing where, fans from around the world are already snapping up tickets, with close to 400,000 ticket applications processed through FIFA.com since midnight on 4 December 2009.

And it is the South Africans who are responding in great numbers, with over 300,000 applications coming from the host country – representing around 75 per cent of the total applications in phase three.

“The great response from South Africans is very encouraging. As I have said before, we have entered into a new phase on the road to 2010. The success of the Confederations Cup and the Final Draw has shown that we can do this. It is now about the football, it is now about hosting the world next year. This is still the greatest show on earth, and it is coming to us. By buying a ticket, South Africans buy not only a seat to watch a game, but also their spot in South African history.

“And with so many South Africans applying for 2010 tickets, the people of South Africa are embracing this significant event in this country’s history,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa, Dr Danny Jordaan.

Although South Africans have responded with resounding support for this phase of ticket sales, Jordaan believes more should still be bought.

“There is still plenty of time to buy tickets to support our national side and the five other teams from the African continent. We have the world’s football greats coming here, we must appreciate the magnitude of what we are doing. It will be a waste to have one single seat open for any of the matches.”

To make it easier for South Africans, there are various options to apply for tickets including online via www.FIFA.com/2010 or at FNB branches across the country. Fans have until 22 January to apply for individual match tickets or Team-Specific Series - which allows fans to follow their team around the country.