FIFA to reform World Cup ticketing for 2014

14:59, May 21, 2010      

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FIFA will reform its pricing and ticketing ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil given the problems with Internet ticket sales in South Africa 2010, a top official said Thursday.

The football governing body's secretary general, Jerome Valcke, said FIFA will "start from scratch" after its online ticketing system, yielded disappointing sales in Africa.

"The system we have put in place was not perfect," Valcke told reporters at a Foreign Correspondents' Association briefing in Johannesburg.

"We will start all ticketing policies from scratch for 2014. It could be that we would be facing some similar problems in Brazil."

Ticket sales in the host country lagged behind expectations until organizers opened over-the-counter sales centers in mid-April. FIFA also increased the number of cheap seats of 140 rands (about 18 U.S. dollars), available only for South Africans and legal residents of the country.

In the rest of Africa, sales fell 76 percent below original predictions, with only 11,300 African visitors expected for the tournament, said South Africa's Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk in a briefing before lawmakers Tuesday.

Van Schalkwyk blamed "unaffordable pricing" and the exclusive use of the Internet sales channel, which he called "a huge mistake".

Valcke acknowledged that ticket prices, which were originally proposed by local organizers, had contributed to keeping away fans from the rest of the continent.

"Maybe that is something that we can change for the future," Valcke said, adding that much of the financing for the local organizing committee comes from ticket sales.

South Africa is expecting 300,000 foreign visitors for the tournament, 150,000 less than originally predicted.



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