LOC: Use public transport

Johannesburg – Soccer fans going to stadiums to support World Cup teams should use public transport and park-and-ride facilities to avoid traffic congestion, the local organising committee said on Monday.

It took the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) 15 minutes to carry FIFA chief executive officer Jerome Valcke from the Westgate mall to Soccer City on Sunday, said LOC spokesperson Rich Mkhondo.

"To us that's an example of what people can do, without the hustle and bustle of the gridlock," he said.

Mkhondo also urged South Africans to "rally around the South African team, and wear their jerseys" in support of Bafana Bafana when it meets France on Tuesday after a 3-0 loss to Uruguay on Wednesday.

The game will determine whether the team proceeds to the next round.

On the empty seats at stadiums on match days, Mkhondo said the issue resulted from "uncollected tickets".

Empty seats

He said people had bought tickets, but not collected them; collected tickets, but failed to show up for the games; and organisations had bought tickets in bulk, but faced distribution problems".

Meanwhile, FIFA spokesperson Nicolas Maingot said the pitches at all stadiums had been of "exceptionally high standard... with complimentary feedback from teams and players".

"The unseasonably cold weather of recent days in Johannesburg, Rustenburg and Tshwane has meant that the pitches have needed to be protected using large covers during the evening to prevent frost damage to the grass and to retain its condition," he said.

"Similarly, the wet weather conditions in Durban and Nelson Mandela Bay, or Port Elizabeth, have forced the official training sessions to be suspended in order to maintain the quality of the surface for matches which are a priority," he said.

FIFA pitch experts continued to closely monitor the quality of pitches daily to "ensure they adhere to the high level required in international standards", Maingot said.
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