National News

FIFA: Don't blame us

2010-06-27 21:27

Johannesburg - FIFA has distanced itself from ticketing scams that sold fake tickets to soccer fans, leaving them frustrated at various stadiums across the country.

At a media briefing in Johannesburg on Sunday, FIFA spokesperson Nicolas Maingot said fans had been warned in advance not to buy tickets from service providers who were not accredited with the organisation.

This after a number of fans were denied access to various stadiums after it was discovered that their tickets were not legit.

"We have published many warnings since 2006 that people who want to buy tickets should go buy tickets through FIFA channels," Maingot said.

He also pleaded with the media to spread the message and warn fans to steer clear of people selling fake tickets.

Fans who want to buy or re-sell their tickets should go to any First National Bank branch, Shorprite and Checkers supermarkets and FIFA centres. Fans could also call 083 123 2010 to verify the status of their tickets or change any details on them.

The ticketing scams have also swindled more than R6.5m from a number of local companies like petrochemicals giant, Sasol.

The Sunday Times reported that a ticketing firm invoiced Sasol Oil, a Sasol business unit for R3.3m. The company had paid for 110 tickets for the two semi-finals and the final. It also paid for VIP hospitality services at matches, including meals and drinks.

Dossier handed over

Clifford Green, a lawyer acting for FIFA and its hospitality affiliate Match, confirmed to the Sunday Times that this week, he had handed over a dossier of affidavits from seven companies, outlining their huge losses.

FIFA Fan Fests were also highlighted as a success throughout the World Cup.

Durban's Fan Fest was the second most attended viewing area with about 375 571 fans attending.

Germany's Berlin Fan Fest was number one with a total attendance of 385 255 fans.

The Fan Fest in Cape Town was the third most visited during the tournament.

Johannesburg Fan Fests were amongst the least visited due to freezing weather conditions and the early exit of Bafana Bafana from the tournament.

"We will use the learnings (sic) from the 2010 World Cup to define what we will do in Brazil (2014)," said head of FIFA business development and new media Ralph Straus.

He said that no incidents of violence had been reported in all FIFA viewing areas in South Africa,  Rome, Paris, Berlin, Sydney, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro.

Fans, he said could brace themselves for more entertainment as FIFA would introduce its comprehensive entertainment as the tournament draws to its climax.

Across the globe over three million fans used Fan Fests to watch World Cup matches

Read more on:    match  |  fifa


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