The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South African – the first ever World Cup on that continent – will be remembered for a landmark...

The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South African – the first ever World Cup on that continent – will be remembered for a landmark gesture of giving 120,000 ordinary African soccer fans free tickets to all games during the tournament, including the World Cup Final itself. There are also plans to offer cheaper priced tickets to the true soccer fans living in the region.

World Cup 2010 tickets go on sale in early February 2009 and will be offered in a succession of “phases,” designated by categories. Low number categories correspond to higher-priced tickets and there are 4 categories. Category 4 tickets will comprise 15 percent of total World Cup tickets and will be sold only to low-income residents of South Africa. The 120,000 complimentary tickets will be drawn from the Category 4 inventory, enabling unprecedented numbers of South African residents to attend the mammoth event.

The South African local organizing committee (LOC), together with groups and organizations such as FIFA and various commercial partners, will distribute the free tickets as part of a program for social initiative. “All South Africans contributed to bringing the FIFA World Cup to our country. So it is only befitting that we make tickets available to the ordinary fans at affordable prices,” CEO of the LOC, Dr. Danny Jordaan, said in a statement.

Category 4 tickets will be available to South African residents for $20, while Category 1 tickets will sell for as high as $900 on the primary market. Tickets to categories 1 through 3 will be sold globally. Average prices for tickets in intermediate categories will be around $139. This compares very favorably with 2006 World Cup tickets prices, which averaged $136. To combat scalpers, FIFA has set a limit of four tickets per person over seven games. Overall allocations for fans of participating teams have been increased from 8 to 12 percent for group-stage matches, a 50 percent improvement over previous tournaments. Tickets will not be distributed by participating nations; 2010 World Cup soccer tickets will be handled through MATCH Hospitality, a subsidiary of Byrom Holdings based in Switzerland with offices in Johannesburg.

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