Johannesburg - International specialist banking group, Investec, boosted ticket sales for the FIFA Confederations Cup when it purchased 50 000 tickets for the tournament.
The tickets, totalling R3.5-million across various ticket categories, will be distributed amongst the company's staff and to deserving local communities.
Applications have now been made to purchase more than half of the 640 000 tickets available for sale for the 16 FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 matches.
In announcing Investec's support for the bid to sell out all matches for the Confederations Cup, Andy Leith, MD of Investec South Africa, said: "There is a great deal of optimism surrounding South Africa's role as next year's host of the world's premier football competition."
He said through Investec's contribution to the success of this year's Confederations Cup, many South Africans throughout the country will now be able to experience the pre-World Cup build up excitement."
Investec believes this year's Confederations Cup will play a very significant role in showcasing South Africa as the host nation prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
"Our purchase of tickets will enable Investec family and local communities, who otherwise would not be able to attend, access to this important tournament."
The Chairman of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC), Dr Irvin Khoza, welcomed the announcement of Investec's significant Confederations Cup ticket purchase.
"Today's announcement goes beyond the act of purchasing tickets for soccer matches. Today, Investec has demonstrated its investment, dexterity and foresight."
This is an investment in the integration of the people of this country. Fifty thousand people will meet at venues they would normally not meet at, under circumstances they would normally not share.
They will have discussions, points and conversations they would otherwise not have had. Barriers will be broken and our society will be the better for it," said Dr Khoza.
The FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 kicks off on 14 June 2009 at Johannesburg's Ellis Park Stadium with a match between South Africa and Asian champions Iraq.