Archive for the 'FIFA' Category

Nice gag, Charlize

December 28, 2009


Charlize Theron pulls Irelands name out of the hat!

Charlize Theron pulls Irelands name out of the hat!

Prankster Charlize Theron shares a gag with David Beckham and Jerome Valcke during rehearsals for the 2010 World Cup draw in Cape Town recently (sorry Ireland!).


SAA should come to the 2010 party

November 7, 2008

A couple of weeks back during his 2010 preparation inspection visit, Sepp Blatter grumbled about the lack of visible marketing or advertising for the World Cup (and the Confederations Cup in 2009) – see here

One great way of advertising the event in South Africa would be for SAA (South African Airways) to paint the 2010 logo on the tail fins of their aircraft.  A row of brightly coloured logo-emblazoned aircraft sitting at Heathrow, Frankfurt, New York and other big cities would be great advertising – for the 2010 World Cup and SAA.

The national carrier had better move quick though.  Virgin or British Airways are bound to do something similar soon – there was a similar (albeit less prominent) marketing coup when BA became the carrier for the Springbok rugby team; much to SAA’s annoyance.

2010 FIFA World Cup Ticket Prices

December 7, 2007

The following prices were announced at the recent preliminary draw in Durban.  All prices are in USD. Category 4 is reserved to South African residents and will be sold exclusively in ZAR.



Cat. 1


Cat. 2


Cat. 3


Cat. 4


(Opening Match)








2 – 48
(1st Round Matches)









49 – 56
(2nd Round Matches)









57 – 60
(Quarter Finals)









61 – 62
(Semi Finals)









(3rd Place)


















Additionally, here are extracts from a FIFA document which answers some questions about ticketing at the 2010 event (the original document is here).  It’ll be interesting to see how they try to prevent the cheaper tickets aimed at the low income South African residents from ending up in the hands of touts…

(1) What has been the overall philosophy behind the determination of the ticket prices?
FIFA always aims to take into account that the FIFA World Cup™ is a premium global sporting event, irrespective of where the event is held. That is why the overall prices of tickets for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ are comparable to those for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™. Nevertheless, the ticketing operation must also reflect the specifics of the domestic market of the host country. The ticket prices for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ therefore represent a well-balanced range that acknowledges the global nature of the FIFA World Cup™ as well as the needs of the domestic market.
(2) Why did FIFA and the LOC decide to have such low prices for category 4 tickets?
In Germany, the cheapest tickets were priced at EUR 35 (approximately USD 51). In South Africa, the lowest price will be just USD 20. FIFA and the LOC felt there was a need to offer a significantly cheaper ticket to meet the demands of grassroots football fans who might not otherwise be able to afford to attend a FIFA World Cup™ match and thus be part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
(3) What percentage of tickets will be allocated to each of the four categories?
The percentages have not yet been determined, as they will depend on the final stadium capacities, which will not be known until each venue has been configured and the configuration of each stadium may vary from match to match. FIFA and the LOC aim to set at least 15% of the capacity of each stadium aside for category 4 tickets and will seek to increase this where possible to as much as 20% of the purchasable inventory.
(4) How many tickets will be available for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™?
The total number of tickets that will be made available for sale for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ has not yet been finalised and will not be confirmed until much nearer to the event. Based on the stadium configuration of previous FIFA World Cup™ final competitions and the anticipated gross capacity of the ten 2010 FIFA World Cup™ stadiums, we expect between 2.8 and 3.1 million purchasable tickets to be available for the 64 matches. This falls in line with the number of tickets that went on sale for the 2002 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ finals. It is important to note that the number of tickets available for sale will not correspond to the gross capacity of the stadiums because the media and VIPs will need to be accommodated, and security and other factors will also reduce the number of seats available before FIFA and the LOC are able to determine the total number of tickets that may be sold for any given match.
(5) When will tickets be available for sale?
The first phase of sales to the general public is expected to commence in February 2009. Hospitality programme sales will begin during the third quarter of 2008. Further information concerning other ticket sales channels such as FIFA’s Tour Operator Programme will be announced in 2008 when additional details will also be confirmed regarding subsequent ticket sales phases and the procedures that will apply for applications for tickets for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
(6) Who is in charge of ticket sales?
FIFA is the principal of all ticket sales. The ticketing operation is conducted, under the direction of FIFA and the LOC, by FIFA’s service company, MATCH.
(7) What will you do to avoid FIFA World Cup™ tickets being sold on the parallel market? After all, their value on the parallel market could easily be as much as a year’s salary for an ordinary worker in South Africa.
FIFA and the LOC are conscious of the fact that parallel market sales cannot be ruled out completely. However, everything is being done by all stakeholders to prevent such practices, as the main purpose of the introduction of the category 4 tickets and the ticket fund is to offer underprivileged low-income South African fans access to FIFA World Cup™ matches.
(8) Why is the ticket fund for all South African residents and not South African citizens alone?
For legal and other reasons, one should not discriminate on the grounds of nationality nor presume that all foreigners living in South Africa are able to afford FIFA World Cup™ tickets – this would not reflect the reality. In any event, the distribution system will be designed to ensure that, as much as possible, only underprivileged football fans are given access to these complimentary tickets.
(9) Will these complimentary ticket fund tickets be available for all 64 matches including the final?
Yes. However, due to the constraints of demand, it is anticipated that the majority will be for group round matches. The actual number of tickets per match will depend on the seating capacity of the stadium, the population of the catchment area, the stage of the tournament and the teams involved. Furthermore, there will be more tickets available for the majority of the 48 group round matches than for the 16 games of the knockout stages
(10) The category 4 tickets are relatively cheap but all other categories are higher than in
2006. Is FIFA trying to make a killing?
No. The proceeds from the sale of tickets (after deducting VAT and operating costs from the face price of tickets) will go to the local organising committee and are its primary source of income.

Synthetic pitches would be a good idea for 2010 stadia

September 20, 2007

There has been lots of media coverage around the construction work at new and existing stadia for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.  This has included some great computer-generated views of what the new structures will look like architecturally (, but there has been little said about the most important element of the whole stadium – the pitch itself.

One of the big concerns is the limited amount of sunlight that the pitches will receive due to the combined effect of the time of year the World Cup games will be played (during the southern hemisphere winter), and the high stands and roofs that modern stadia generally have.  FIFA president Sepp Blatter put it fairly succinctly (for him) when he said “The stadiums with roofs which totally or partially cover the stands to protect the fans from rain and sun [also] prevent the sun and the wind from getting to the grass”.  This was in reference to some pitch problems experienced at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.  He went on to suggest that matches at the 2010 World Cup could take place on synthetic pitches (

In July I went to watch Tottenham play Kaiser Chiefs in a pre-season match at King’s Park stadium, which is home to the Natal Sharks rugby team in Durban (and directly opposite the new stadium being built for 2010). The pitch didn’t look to be in great condition – the grass covering was a bit patchy, and the surface looked hard and a bit sandy, but this is fairly typical for the dry winter months, when the sun is lower in the sky, and there is little rainfall.

Modern synthetic pitches have come along way since the early eighties when English club QPR put in a pitch that was not much more than a green carpet laid over a bed of concrete.  Others clubs followed, but in 1988 the use of ‘plastic pitches’ was banned by the FA. The new ones have tall, synthetic, imitation grass blades embedded in a “synthetic earth” mixture of sand and rubber granules, and look pretty good for football.  At least that’s the impression I got recently when I watched South Africa play Congo-Brazzaville at the Stade-Municipal in Pointe Noire on a synthetic pitch in June 2007 (although apparently the surface turned a bit ‘swamp-like’ for a game played previously between Egypt and Cameroon in the January rainy season). This pitch was installed as part of FIFA’s ‘Win in Africa with Africa’ project, which aims to equip all 52 member countries in Africa (with the exception of South Africa) with an artificial pitch of internal standard (

England will get their turn to play on a synthetic pitch when they face Russia in a European Championship qualifying match at the Luzhniki Olympic stadium in October (I’m sure Steve McClaren is already lining that one up as a post-match excuse). The Luzhniki stadium surface was manufactured by the Canadian firm FieldTurf, and approved by Fifa and Uefa.  Several Barclays Premier League clubs have the same FieldTurf installation as practice pitches, and so alot of the England squad will have had some experience at least of practising on them.

I would imagine that the synthetic turf suppliers will be out in full force at the Soccerex convention in Johannesburg at the end of November.

Hint on 2010 ticket prices

June 22, 2007

Here is an article that appeared on Page 1 of The Star on June 8, 2007 (Slindile Khanyile):

South African 2010 World Cup organisers have for the first time given an indication of how much match tickets are going to cost.

The cheapest tickets to the first World Cup in Africa, which will go on sale in 2009, are expected to be below the £58 (about R560) price range used in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Danny Jordaan, the chief executive officer of the 2010 World Cup organising committee, yesterday said prices for tickets had not yet been finalised.

“We must also wait for the final draw to take place and that will be in 2009. We will then be able to finalise the ticket prices.

“But the cheapest would be below the cheapest tickets in the Japan/South Korea World Cup (in 2002), which was $50 (R350).

“It would also be cheaper than Germany (2006), which was e58,” said Jordaan.

In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye on any other rumours, hints, etc surrounding ticket prices, as the affordability issue is a hot topic in South Africa.  As an example of what constitutes ‘affordable’, the upcoming Kaizer Chiefs vs Tottenham Hotspur game in Durban has most tickets priced at R35, and the most expensive at R100, which is about GBP2.50 and GBP7 respectively.