- South African stadiums' construction workers at 2010 World Cup sites will get free match tickets during finals in South Africa, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said.
During his tour to stadium sites, Mr Blatter promised over 20,000 construction free tickets saying they deserve rewards for their hard and dedication in preparation for Africa's first tournament on the continent.
"We want to ensure that they will be in the stadiums they created at the first FIFA World Cup matches to bear witness to a South African dream they have been so central in realising," he said Wednesday. "Therefore, every worker will receive two free FIFA World Cup tickets that's our promise."
"The Fifa World Cup is much bigger than any other sporting event, including the Olympics, the two are not comparable. It is kick-off time now because the Confederations Cup is tomorrow," said Mr Blatter.
FIFA has also set aside 15 percent of the three million tickets expected to be sold for games, to go to South African residents only for US$20, well below top ticket price of US$900. The US$20 is several times what South Africans pay for local soccer matches, but still affordable for many locals.
Regarding political uncertainty in the country, Mr Blatter said Fifa would not interfere in this respect, but would ensure all guarantees made in 2003 were honoured, and "having listened to what was said today, I think we are on the right track", he added.
Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke said although it was difficult to budget for a profit for World Cup because the LOC was still working on confirming seating capacity, they were expecting to make a profit of about R815 million ($100m), which is well short of the R1.7 billion profit $150m Germany made in 2004.
Despite having previously been critical of progress of construction at sites, Mr Blatter said it would be a magnificent event. He however, reserved his criticism for host nation's team, saying he was disappointed with recent performances of Bafana Bafana.
He also urged South Africans to step up their advertising and publicity campaign for the big event.
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