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Fifa blocks overseas touts

Fifa blocks overseas ticket touts

Posted: 18 February 2009 Time: 4:03 pm

International ticket touts who hope to make a killing by buying the cheap 2010 World Cup tickets being offered to South Africans and then re-selling them at profit overseas have run into a stumbling block.

Fifa announced today that it aims to prevent a black market trade in the R140 (category four) tickets on offer to South Africans by only making them available for collection in the country.

The ticketing structure is such that overseas visitors will have to pay around R800 for their tickets (category 3).

Tickets for the tournament go on sale to the general public on Friday on Fifa’s website, fifa.com, and through nationwide branches of South Africa's First National Bank, a national World Cup sponsor. This sale starts online at 13h00 and runs until March 31.

Fans applying for a ticket in this first of five ticket-sale phases will be entered into a draw that takes place on April 15. Within three days, they should be notified if they were successful.

Those who were unsuccessful will have several more opportunities to buy tickets, right up until the day of the World Cup Final on July 11.

In total, around 3-million paid tickets will be available for the tournament that begins on June 11, 2010, and is being staged in nine cities around South Africa.

Of these, around one-million tickets will be given to Fiifa commercial affiliates, hospitality providers and broadcast outlets, leaving around two-million tickets for the general public, of which 743 965 tickets will be made available from Friday.

Irrespective of how early they apply, fans will have to wait until April 2010 to hold a ticket in their hands, when the tickets will be available for collection at designated ticketing centres in the nine host cities and some international airports.

International fans will enter their payment cards into a terminal to redeem their ticket. Those who bought their tickets through FNB will be issued with special prepaid cards, which they use to withdraw their tickets.

David Will, head of the Fifa sub-ticketing committee, told a media ticketing seminar in Johannesburg that in order to facilitate the access of ordinary South African football fans to a tournament that might otherwise be beyond their reach, Fifa has blocked off around 16 percent of the tickets – all the cheapest category 4 tickets.

Addressing concerns that these tickets might find their ways into the hands of overseas fans, Jaime Byrom, chairman of Fifa's ticketing agency MATCH, said that category 4 ticket holders would be required to provide proof of residence upon collection.

A category one ticket for the Final at Soccer City will set a fan back in the region of R9 000. Each fan may apply for a maximum four tickets per match for up to seven matches, or four team-specific ticket series of up to seven games for a chosen team.

In a World Cup first, Fifa will hand out 120 000 free category four tickets to South Africans, of which 40 000 will be given to the workers that helped build the new stadiums.

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