Friday, April 16, 2010

With the World Cup kick off now just 55 days away, it's quite alarming that 500,000 unsold tickets were put up for over the counter cash sales in South Africa this week. That sounds like a lot of potential empty stadiums to me.

Whilst FIFA and organisers try to put a little bit of gloss on the fact that 100,000 tickets have been sold during the first two days of these sales, it is worrying that this amount of tickets have remained, up until now at least, unsold.

The sales themselves haven't been without their own problems with computers crashing, scuffles breaking out, police using peppers spray and even one fan dying from a heart attack. It makes you question how smoothly other aspects of the finals and their infrastructure will be come June.

It also doesn't disguise the fact that there are still a hell of a lot of tickets left to be sold and with fans of competing nations citing many things such as lack of affordable flights and safety issues as reasons for not going, you have to wonder whether this will prove to be one of the least successful finals in recent years.

Hopefully I'm wrong, as I would hate for these finals to be used as an excuse for not awarding future World Cups to developing nations and instead only the big and wealthy countries get a slice of the pie. That would do damage to the game, but maybe not as much as a disasterous 2010 Finals would do to Africa.

On the plus side, it is good that locals will be getting a chance to go to the games, but the atmosphere is going to be horrible for those watching at home, with more swarming bee sounding horns than good old fashioned chanting. Might be a case for watching a lot of the games with the sound down.

Despite all these glitches, the excitement is building. Panini sticker albums are now available and it's the chance to relive childhood swapping once more.

The way it's going, you could probably swap some of your doubles for actual tickets.

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