Brazilians may get free tickets too

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Johannesburg - The new ticket fund, introduced for the first time at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, could be rolled out to Brazil in 2014 after it proved to be a big success in South Africa, the soccer governing body said.

FIFA, together with the Local Organising Committee designed the ticket fund to make the first African World Cup accessible to those South Africans who otherwise would not have the means to purchase the tournament's tickets. About 120 000 category four tickets were distributed free to the host country's deserving citizens with 54 000 going to construction workers.

Now, some Brazilian residents could be in line to receive their share of free tickets when their country gets an opportunity to host the world's biggest sporting event.

"Yes, indeed we will make a review to see how we can apply a similar project for Brazil in 2014. It has been very successful and one thing it did was to bring different stakeholders together to help the people of South Africa watch the first World Cup in their country and we would like to see something similar for the people of Brazil," said FIFA's Ralph Straus during a media briefing on Tuesday.

FIFA partners in this year's World Cup, Adidas, made available 15 000 tickets while Coca Cola and Sony distributed 20 000 and 15 000 tickets respectively.

The primary target of the programme was young people and more than fifty percent of the tickets went to the country's youth with more than 50 000 going to school children around the country. Straus said tickets were not simply given out as handouts but recipients had to participate in various community development programmes.

"There were many legacy programmes and initiatives throughout the country and we had to make sure that the tickets went to all the nine provinces in the country not only focusing on host cities and we have been very pleased with the results," Straus said.

Basic Education Department Deputy Director General Gugu Ndebele said the ticket fund had an important education element for many of the country's children and did not only benefit those who were privileged to get tickets. Over 9 000 schools participated in various programmes linked to the ticket fund. These include the My 2010 School adventure that saw more than five million pupils taking part in the programme.

"Through these initiatives we ensured that those disadvantaged children have an opportunity to say I was there I was part of the fans at Soccer City...and even for those who did not go to the stadiums we ensured that we bring their stars to the townships so all of them have just been part of this World Cup," Ndebele said. As a result, she said, the department was in talks with authorities to speed up the establishing of school leagues across all public schools.

Meanwhile, FIFA said about 1600 category one tickets were available for tonight's first semi-final match between Uruguay and Netherlands in Cape Town. The tickets are available throughout all sales channels and each ticket will cost between R4 500 and R4 7000.