6 May 2010

World Cup cash ticket sales slowing

5:21 am on 6 May 2010

More than half of the 500,000 World Cup tickets offered for cash sales are still available, just over a month before the soccer tournament starts.

The fifth and final phase of sales opened in South Africa on 15 April, sparking long queues, but the initial brisk business appears to have cooled.

Soccer's world governing body FIFA moved to cash sales after widespread criticism that its Internet-based system was too complicated and effectively excluded millions of poor black fans in the host country who do not have access to computers or credit cards.

Supporters initially rushed to buy those seats, with 130,000 tickets sold in the first three days.

A FIFA spokeswoman confirmed that 230,000 of the allotted 500,000 phase five tickets - the first to be sold over the counter - had been sold.

Matches in Johannesburg - which will host the opening and final matches - and Pretoria were sold out but there were still many tickets available for matches in Polokwane, Port Elizabeth and Nelspruit.