The third ticketing sales phase for the major soccer tournament has seen the number of tickets applied for hit the 500 000 mark within the first 10 days. Over 386 300 of those tickets were requested by South African residents, while 114 237 tickets applied for came from the rest of the world.
“In comparison with the previous editions of the Fifa World Cups, the latest ticket applications figures are impressive. The number of domestic applications have increased significantly,” says Horst Schmidt, chairman of the Fifa ticketing sub-committee.
In May, with only a week to go until the Confederations Cup, the football body received a range of complaints. Online users complained of problems with the online system, which varied from being unable to log on to the Web site, to being unable to complete a booking and failure to obtain a proof of payment once a transaction had been completed.
Complaints also pertained to problems with the online payment system, which was alleged to be available sporadically.While Fifa denied the complaints, saying the online ticketing process was running smoothly, it later admitted that it had to improve its capacity to prepare for increased online applications.
The organisation previously stated it was expecting an increase in the demand for tickets after the final draw of the teams in December, and would ensure that all processes go smoothly.
In total, about one million tickets for all 64 matches and categories are made available in the third sales phase, including a limited number for the opening match and the final.
Online ticket sales are handled by Match Event Services, a local subsidiary of Zurich-based Match Services, which provides Fifa with ticketing, accommodation and event IT services.
Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO Danny Jordaan added that Fifa is working closely with international authorities to crack down on illegal tickets.
Earlier this year, Fifa denied reports that phishing scams and credit card fraud are plaguing its online ticketing sales system. However, the soccer organisation warned local and international soccer fans about potential online fraud.
The football body says that in total, ticket applications from 166 countries have been received and the figures do not include the participating member associations' allocated ticket sales.
South African residents have an option to apply for tickets at FNB branches across the country. The current third ticket sales phase will run until 22 January 2010.
All applications within the sales phase will be treated equally. In an event of over-subscribed matches or price categories, there will be an electronic random selection draw on 1 February 2010.