FIFA puts additional 150,000 World Cup tickets on sale

FIFA, the world's governing body of soccer, said 150,000 additional World Cup tickets will be available Friday for next month's tournament in South Africa.

AP Photo/Massimo Pinca
Italy's national soccer team players Leonardo Bonucci, left, and Marco Borriello challenge for the ball during a training session in Sestriere, in the Italian Alps, Wednesday, May 26, 2010. The Italian team is in the Alps in preparation for the upcoming 2010 World Cup competition in South Africa, starting June 11. FIFA said 150,000 additional World Cup tickets will go on sale Friday.

An extra 150,000 tickets for all 64 World Cup matches will be put on sale Friday after 96 per cent of seats were sold, FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke said.

At a ceremony officially handing over Cape Town's majestic new seaside stadium for the World Cup, Valcke said that if the additional tickets were sold the tournament would reach almost 98 percent capacity across all the 10 stadiums.

A total of nearly 2.9 million seats were available for the world's most watched sporting event, which runs for a month from June 11.Valcke said the additional tickets were from inventory that soccer's governing body had held back until now for its own use.

IN PICTURES: Ready for the World Cup

The number of tickets available for any stadium would vary from 200 upwards. Valcke said last week organizers were having trouble filling the smaller Nelspruit, Polokwane and Port Elizabeth stadiums for some matches.

Estimates of foreign visitors for the World Cup, once put at 450,000, have recently been reduced to between 300,000 and 370,000. The number has been depressed by the global economic crisis, the cost of a long-haul World Cup destination and fears over South Africa's high levels of violent crime.

Last month, realising it had made errors in selling tickets only over the internet, FIFA launched a drive to market the remaining seats to South Africans, who have grabbed thousands in over-the-counter cash sales.

IN PICTURES: Ready for the World Cup

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