Jordaan, speaking at a media briefing ahead of launch of Friday’s world-wide ticket application process, said the global financial crisis – coupled with the tournament being staged in Africa for the first time – would mean it is unlikely all the matches would be sold out.
“We are operating on a modest proviso of 60 percent ticket sales, which will see us through nicely,” he said. “Naturally we remain optimistic and are looking at a much larger number of sales, which would see us with a substantial profit.”
Fifa honorary vice-president and chairman of the Fifa ticketing sub-committee David Will admitted they were expecting a smaller sell-through on tickets, but added that it could all change when the 32 qualifiers had been determined.
“I would be naive to suggest there will be no backlash as a result of the financial crisis that has spread round the globe,” he said. “But soccer fans are a funny breed who will go to South Africa come hell or high water if their own country qualifies for the World Cup – and we’ll need to wait until the final 32 qualifiers are known before gaining a more accurate assessment.”
Almost 20-million applications were received for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, though the close proximity of major European countries and the small distances to travel played a big part in that.