Jordaan defends late over-the-counter ticket sales

2010-04-18 12:04

Timothy Molobi (TM): Why did it take so long for Fifa/LOC to realise that South Africans prefer over-the-counter sales?

Danny Jordaan (DJ): We’ve always understood the nature of the SA football public and their preference for paying over the counter and getting their tickets immediately. This last minute over the counter fifth sales phase was always in the initial ticketing plans for this event and was not a new measure.

TM : Do you admit the last two days have shown how short-sighted Fifa’s ticketing system has been?

DJ: It’s impossible to look back now, we have to look ahead, ensure every ticket for this event is sold out and ensure the best possible spectator experience possible for what we have no doubt will be the best World Cup ever.

TM: In hindsight should the LOC have listened to earlier concerns by the public and media about the ticketing model and implemented over the counter sales earlier?

DJ: Seeing people in the streets, jubilant and celebrating, and showing incredible patience despite long queues, delays and tensions, certainly was a powerful illustration of their passion for their country and this event.

TM: What measures are being taken to prevent the current problems with over the counter sales ie the long queues; off-line points of sale/systems; no communication over tickets available

DJ: Fifa’s ticketing personnel have been working tirelessly to rectify the initial problems, improve the functionality of the system and the quicker turnaround time for people to collect tickets.

TM: Has Fifa admitted their mistake too?

DJ: Fifa and MATCH have extended their apologies to the general public, who waited for hours to try and obtain tickets, and thanked them profusely for their patience and understanding.

TM: Were there any tests conducted on the system before the sales opened and if so, why did it crash?

DJ: They were rigorously tested and even on the morning before the ticketing centres opened the system was working fine. But at the most critical time, the system experienced delays and didn’t perform to expectations.

TM: Do you think there will still be tickets available when Shoprite/Checkers outlets (which are more accessible to the masses) open sales on Monday (tomorrow)?

DJ: There should be and we encourage people to still try. Naturally, given the huge demand tickets are flying fast and the cheaper Category 4 tickets are now in short supply, but there certainly are still tickets available.

TM: The Fifa website gives the message “currently unavailable” for some categories. What does this mean?

DJ: In some instances the allocation reserved for the participating teams, which is 12% of the capacity in the stadium for each team, is not fully utilised and is returned to the market. Sponsors and the Fifa family sometimes also return some of their tickets, so theoretically tickets could again become available, even up to the final on July 11.

TM: Is there no way of keeping people informed on whether the tickets they are looking for are available?

DJ: We’ve raised this with Fifa and there is an on-line tracking system of monitoring the availability of tickets per match and category on

TM: Do the latest developments not confirm the notion that the World Cup is for rich soccer fans?

DJ: Not at all. Quite the contrary. This week we saw people of all walks of life, races and creed, rich and poor, queuing and showing their willingness to be active participants not only in a football tournament, but in their country’s future. We all know how important the success of this tournament is for the country’s psyche and to build on the gains we achieved since 1994.

TM: Were you caught by surprise by the demands for World Cup tickets?

DJ: We always knew how passionate our country is about football and about hosting this tournament, so we expected tremendous demand. But seeing people queuing up from midday the previous day and waiting for over 20 hours for the centres to open, certainly was overwhelming and many were taken by surprise with the sheer volume of demand.

TM: Many South Africans are complaining that only expensive categories are still available, which they cannot afford, do you share the same view?

DJ : Unfortunately there are only so many tickets available for this tournament and by making Category 4 tickets exclusively available to South African residents and as affordable as possible, we’ve always been determined to ensure they have every chance of experiencing the World Cup in their own country. It’s for that reason we also stressed the need to buy tickets early.

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