Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

FIFA made fundamental errors on World Cup tickets


FIFA is guaranteed massive revenue from the World Cup, primarily through billions of dollars in commercial and television rights, that will fill its coffers for the next four years. But that doesn't hide the fact that soccer's governing body has made basic errors in the ticketing structure for the first African edition of the world's most watched sporting event.

FIFA boss Sepp Blatter has steadfastly supported holding the soccer spectacle in Africa despite a flood of negative reporting from Europe that said the tournament would be a disaster and that nothing would be ready in time. Those naysayers have so far been proved very wrong--the 10 stadiums, half of them stunning new venues--are ready way ahead of kickoff on June 11.

Blatter has gained plenty of kudos and political support from his support of Africa but the organisation he leads seems to has allowed what many critics would call greed to impede its ability to make calculations that would seem fundamental.

FIFA's system of selling most tickets until last week over the internet showed a basic misunderstanding of South Africa's black fans, who make up the bulk of football supporters in this country. They are poor, they don't have bank accounts and they do not have access to the internet. This was pointed out to FIFA last year, when ticketing started, but it only took notice in the last month or so.