Tension grows in SWC queues
Cape Town - Eleven FIFA Ticketing Centres and various FNB branches opened for SWC ticket sales across the country on Thursday at 09:00.
However, the thousands of fans, several of whom started queuing on Wednesday afternoon for the 500 000 tickets on sale, soon became frustrated with systems being offline while "technical glitches" rendered the process tedious.
A FNB bank manager in Cape Town confirmed the problem was countrywide.
Some 500 000 tickets have been made available in over-the-counter sales for all 64 SWC matches – including the final. Three hundred Category 3 tickets will be made available for the final at Soccer City on July 11.
Ticket sales came to a temporary stop at a FNB branch in Sandton when, in a bid to control the unruly crowds, the doors to the bank were closed for security reasons.
According to an Eyewitness News report, fans clashed with security manning the doors and accused them of letting in people who had no queuing numbers. Fans were supposed to collect these at a separate queue before lining up to enter the centre.
Despite the problems, some fans remained excited at getting their hands on a ticket to spectacle starting on June 11.
"We knew that the line was going to be long so we wanted to be here early to get our tickets," said 18-year-old student Jevon Kannemeyer who got to the Cape Town ticket centre in Cape Town at 18:45 on Wednesday.
"I'm very excited because I'm a soccer fanatic."
Kannemeyer said he had not applied for tickets in previous sales phases, saying it was a long process which had not guaranteed matches.
"You can just pay over the counter with your cash and you are guaranteed to get the tickets right now," he told AFP as he waited near the front of the queue.
"We've been here since last night at 22:30," said Richard Mahwayo, 57, who held a hand-written cardboard sign saying: "Warning!!! Stay clear, we've got the 'fever'. World Cup Fever."
Meanwhile, some 1 000 people are queuing at the Spearhead building at the Foreshore in Cape Town in wet conditions.
Tragically, an elderly man died of a heart attack early on Thursday morning while queuing for tickets.
Fans will need to bring their ID book and a credit card or cash when applying at the Ticketing Centres. A maximum of 10 tickets per person per match can be purchased at this stage.
Those fans who have already secured tickets, either online or at various FNB branches, can collect their tickets from 18 selected Shoprite Checkers stores around the country from Monday, April 19 onwards.
Those individuals who purchased Category 4 tickets, reserved exclusively for South African residents, will need to bring proof of residency at the time of collection.
Click HERE for the 11 FIFA Ticketing Centres and the 18 Shoprite Checkers stores