12 Apr 2010

World Cup organisers launch final ticket drive

12:36 pm on 12 April 2010

World Cup organisers have launched a drive to persuade South Africans to buy up 500,000 unsold match tickets, after European demand for the football spectacular fell short of expectations.

Fears of crime and high costs have sapped demand in several European countries, especially Germany, and organisers said a "significant number" of tickets had been returned, including by corporate sponsors.

They push for the fifth and final ticket phase is spearheaded for the first time by over-the-counter sales in South Africa via 11 new centres in the nine match cities.

FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke acknowledged that organisers had been slow to adjust to South African football culture where the mass of poor black supporters do not have access to the internet and are accustomed to buying tickets just before a game.