Fans continue to make late push for WCup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fans continue to make late push for WCup

By Gerald Imray 30/05/2010 06:31:00 AM Comments (0)

FIFA said on Saturday that 100,000 World Cup tickets had been sold in less than two days as local fans made a late push to attend the tournament.

FIFA said 14 matches were sold out, including the final, semifinals and South Africa's group games.

An extra 90,000 tickets, mainly returns from FIFA's sponsors, were added to the pool on Friday, leaving organisers with 160,000 to sell just two weeks ahead of the June 11 kickoff. The release was also hampered by system problems.

But fans have flocked to the centres chasing seats for big games like the July 11 final, which were previously unavailable.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said the tournament was now approaching the 97 per cent sales mark of the 2006 World Cup in Germany - FIFA's main target.

Valcke said FIFA was "very happy" with the response of the fans, some of whom had queued for two days and then had to wait an additional two hours after the ticketing system crashed.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter also addressed reporters for the first time since arriving in South Africa.

Blatter, who arrived on Thursday, visited the Peter Mokaba Stadium in the northern city of Polokwane on Saturday morning, one of three World Cup stadiums he had not yet seen since they were completed.

As FIFA officially took control of the newly built venue for the World Cup, Blatter stressed that world football's ruling body had faith in South Africa's preparations.

"All the world is focused on South Africa," Blatter said, "and all the world will look at what happened in the African continent when, finally, there was an organisation called FIFA that said 'we trust Africa. We trust South Africa with such a big competition."'

Blatter also visited the colourful Mbombela Stadium, with its black and white seats, in Nelspruit. He will travel to the 50,000-seat Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the south coast city of Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

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