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World Cup tickets go on sale in South African supermarkets

Wed 14th Apr 2010 | FIFA

South African supermarkets and shopping malls will get a boost from Thursday when half a million unsold World Cup tickets will go on sale. Fifa officials are hoping to avoid the "tragic" spectacle of half-empty stadiums at this summer's tournament. 

The final phase of sales will involve ticket selling points being set up in shopping malls in the nine host cities plus a network of popular supermarkets. Tickets are still available for all 64 matches except the final at Soccer City in Johannesburg on 11 July.

It will be the first time fans can buy tickets over the counter in cash – the preferred method of purchasing for South African football fans, many of who are on low incomes.

Fifa had previously insisted on selling tickets only through its website or in a complicated ballot procedure at a local bank branch, prompting local criticism.

Many South Africans complained the process excluded people without web access, credit cards or the disposable income to pay for their tickets months in advance. Ticket prices are also well above normal for top-level football in South Africa.

Fifa said last week that 2.2m tickets have been sold for the tournament, which kicks off on 11 June. Fifa's Danny Jordaan said it would be "tragic" for the host country if stadiums were empty and urged fans to "go buy now."

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