Official FIFA logo for the 2010 World Cup


Photo of Danny Jordaan

Danny Jordaan: Please buy tickets

Image of the FA logo

English FA: Plenty to spare

Official logo of the Dutch Football Federation

Dutch Federation: Give us more time

Official logo of the German Football Federation

German Federation: Fans staying home

Official logo of the Danish Football Federation

Denmark: Tickets to spare

Official logo of the USA Football Federation

America – Just make an offer

The things they say...

‘Neither FIFA nor its President have anything to hide, nor do they wish to.’

Blatter press release, 28 January, 2003

BBC Panorama Reporter Andy Davies:

‘A one million franc bribe … is it not correct that Mr Blatter asked that it be moved to the FIFA official who was named on the payment slip?’

FIFA Director of Communications Markus Siegler:

‘If you do not stop now, then we call the security and we put you out.’

FIFA Press conference, Zurich, Tuesday, 11 April 2006

‘I am deputy chairman of the finance committee of FIFA. I oversee a budget of US$2 billion and I have never seen one iota of corruption.’

Jack Warner, Trinidad Express 12 December 2004

‘Lying and deception and bad faith are standard operating procedure at FIFA.’

Adam C. Silverstein, a lawyer for MasterCard in their successful action against FIFA, New York, December 1, 2006

‘I do not believe a Jew can ever be a referee at that level (Argentine Premier League) because it’s hard work and, you know, Jews don’t like hard work.’

FIFA senior vice-president and chair of Finance Committee, Julio Grondona, 5 July 2003. Buenos Aires

‘FIFA is a healthy, clean and transparent organisation with nothing to hide. There is huge public interest in FIFA, therefore we have to be as transparent as possible. We will try to communicate in a more open way so the world can believe us and be proud of their federation.’

FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi, January 2003, on



In desperation FIFA have announced a new round of ticket sales starting next month for fans of teams in the finals. It’s hard to believe that fans who decided not to go to South Africa when tickets were already available will suddenly change their minds.

World Cup Tickets Disaster



By Andrew Jennings


Sunday January 17, 2010


This year’s World Cup is in deep trouble as fans refuse to buy tickets, blaming greed by businessmen friends of Sepp Blatter and fears about safety in South Africa.


Unofficial World Cup ticket brokers, approved agents, black market operators and national associations are all struggling to sell nearly one million unwanted seats for first round matches.


One dealer in the unofficial ticket and travel market said, ‘The word is already on the street, the event is a bomb, it’s a bust, it’s on the floor, the unsafe atmosphere and the cost of travel and hotels has made this an awful event to sell.’


Another broker told me, ‘They talk about 450,000 fans coming. I predict between 125,000 to 150,000. This is turning into a huge disaster for FIFA and the South African organisers.’


Even African fans are refusing to buy. 2010 chief executive Danny Jordaan has been forced to admit, ‘Less that 100,000 tickets have been sold to fans in the six African countries competing in the Finals.’


Jordaan added, ‘This will be the first time in World Cup history that the host nation is not topping the ticket sales list. It will be tragic if this trend continues and I appeal to local fans to come out and support their country.’


This may be desperation. South African bloggers repeatedly criticize ‘outrageous’ prices far beyond the pocket of the average fan.


In England fans who placed multiple internet orders hoping they might get tickets for at least some games are now burdened with unwanted and possibly unsalable tickets.


One England fan said, ‘I applied for tickets to seven matches for me and three friends. To my surprise I received everything I asked for. The trouble is that my three friends did the same and they have also obtained 28 tickets for the same seven matches. We now have 112 tickets for these games.’


Demand is so slow that last week the England FA admitted to fans, ‘We currently have enough tickets to satisfy demand for all our matches.’


The Dutch Federation is having problems selling its allocation and has asked FIFA to postpone the closing date for sales. A spokeswoman said, ‘In the past we had to lobby for more tickets, now we lobby for more time.’


There appears to be a similar lack of interest in Germany. The German federation refuses to reveal how many tickets they have sold for the first round games but reliable sources say the figure is likely to be less than 1,000.


Its been reported that some German cities are preparing to erect big screens in public places, as in 2006, for fans who prefer to stay home.


It’s the same story in Denmark where yet again, fans are turning their backs on FIFA’s rackets.


But FIFA are telling a different story. Last week they announced, ‘We have seen a significant rise in the interest of South African fans. In addition, currently the countries outside South Africa from which more requests have been received via are the United Kingdom, USA and Germany.’


The unofficial ticket dealers say that of the 48 matches in the first round, only three are easy to sell. ‘We can make money on England and the USA, Holland and Denmark and Brazil versus Portugal,’ said one. ‘There are ten additional games worth watching – like Germany and Serbia or Italy and Paraguay – but there’s no great demand for these tickets.


‘We can’t sell anything like the amount we expected in Mexico, Japan, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Only Brazilian sales are holding up. Dealers around the world are now stuck with rooms and tickets for games that people cannot afford to go to.’


Sales are even more disappointing in America where 79,000 tickets have been bought on the Internet by brokers and travel agents – who are now reported to be trying to re-sell at face value – just to dump them.