Johannesburg - Ticket sales for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup are fast approaching the 400 000 mark, with just three weeks before kickoff.
Some 383 506 tickets, or 63 percent of the total 640 000 tickets available, had been sold by 21 May, according to FIFA.
Of those sold, 25 000 had been bought over the counter since the opening of ticketing centres in the four host cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane/Pretoria, Mangaung/Bloemfontein and Rustenburg, reports Joburg.org.
Johannesburg is in the lead, with 33 509 tickets purchased and collected at its ticketing centre at the Sandton Isle, in Sandton.
According to FIFA, tickets for several matches in various categories are sold out:
* Match 1 (South Africa vs Iraq): category 3 and 4;
* Match 3 (Brasil vs Egypt): category 4;
* Match 4 (USA vs Italy): category 4;
* Match 7 (USA vs Brasil): category 2, 3 and 4;
* Match 11 (Brasil vs Italy): all categories;
* Match 14 (semifinal, Johannesburg): category 4; and
* Match 16 (final, Johannesburg); category 4.
Category four tickets are the cheapest tickets and are available exclusively to South African residents in Rands.
For the group matches and the third place match, category four tickets go for R70 only.
Categories one to three tickets are available in American dollars to football fans living outside the country.
Category one tickets are for seats alongside the pitch, between the goal lines.
Category two tickets are for seats next to category one seats, in the corners; and categories three and four tickets are for seats behind the goals or in the corners.
New Zealand, Iraq and Spain and host nation South Africa will slug it out for top spot in Group A, while the United States, Egypt, Brazil and Italy will fight it out in Group B.
The opening and final matches of the tournament, which kicks off on 14 June, will be played at Johannesburg's Ellis Park Stadium, while Tshwane's Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Mangaung's Free State Stadium, and Rustenburg's Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace will host group and semifinal matches.
People can still apply for tickets through FNB branches. At bank branches, buyers must collect official ticket application forms from any FNB branch across the country.
They must fill out the application form, subject to the household limitations on ticket purchases - a maximum of four tickets per household, up to a maximum of seven matches.
Soccer fans must also choose which games they would like to attend, as well as supply personal details of the main applicant and guests. They must then return the ticket application form to an FNB teller, keeping the ticket purchase card as proof of payment.
Thereafter, they have to wait to receive an SMS confirming the outcome of their application; pay for tickets when advised that the request for tickets was successful and then fans can collect their tickets using their card at various points in the four host cities.
Tickets can also be bought online from the FIFA website. Soccer fans must register their request for tickets and monitor the outcome or status of their ticket application online.
When advised that their ticket application was successful, fans can collect tickets using their Visa payment card from various points in the four host cities.
Tickets can also be bought over the counter at ticketing centres in each host city by simply walking into a ticketing centre with cash, credit or debit cards and buy tickets over the counter or through vending machines.
The vending machines, which take only credit and ticket purchase cards, give customers step-by-step instructions on buying tickets, which are printed out.
Once ticket applications have been approved, the tickets can be collected at collection points in Maponya Mall, in Soweto or in Eastgate Shopping Centre, in Gardenview.
The ticket collection points are inside FNB branches and are open during normal FNB trading hours.
At all locations, customers need to bring along their payment card, if they used the card to buy their tickets via the FIFA website.
Customers also need their ticket purchase card from their hard ticket application form, if they used the paper application form to buy their tickets as well as proof of identity to confirm they are the person who ordered the tickets.