A ticket bonanza awaits construction workers at all the World Cup stadiums in 2010 – with 20 000 employees’ guaranteed two free tickets each to the football matches.

The decision was announced by Fifa president Sepp Blatter on Wednesday, hours before he left the country after his four-day visit.

“I have good news for the workers. We have decided, with the Local Organising Committee (LOC), to offer about 20 000 workers two free tickets (each) to the stadiums where they are working,” Blatter said at Joburg’s Coca-Cola Park.

“It’s a merit to the workers in recognition of their work in preparing for 2010,” he said.

The tickets will form part of the 120 000 bulk free tickets to be given to South African residents in 2010, a decision announced by Fifa during the 2010 preliminary draw in Durban last year.

The decision came a day after a LOC board meeting agreed that the cheapest World Cup ticket would be R140.

This category of tickets is to be sold at $20 at a fixed exchange rate of R7 to the dollar, regardless of the fluctuating exchange rate.

Meanwhile, tickets for the Confederations Cup will go on sale on November 23 – a day after the draw for the competition.

Tickets for the World Cup will be sold from January.

Blatter later met ANC president Jacob Zuma to ensure that South Africa’s guarantees to Fifa as the host country for 2010 will not be disrupted by the transition in leadership expected next year.

Though generally pleased by the “magnitude of construction at Cape Town’s Green Point stadium and Joburg’s Soccer City and Coca-Cola stadiums”, Blatter raised concerns about the glaring shortage of accommodation throughout the country.

More recently, there have been concerns about hotel and non-hotel room owners’ reluctance to register their facilities with Match.

Match is Fifa’s accommodation, ticketing, catering and hotel service provider.

Blatter said, however, this was an indication of the high demand for the 2010 event.

PUBLICATION: iol.co.za
AUTHOR: Lebogang Seale
DATED: 18th September 2008