Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Confed Cup: Thousands and thousands of empty seats watch games

SHOOT: The same awaits us during the 2010 World Cup. When I was in South Korea they sort've solved this problem by bussing in students and schoolchildren. It's quite ironic. You build massive cauldrons at taxpayer;s expense, and then, of course, taxpayers can't afford to watch the games. Virtually no one attended the game at Royal Bafokeng between New Zealand and Spain. Even the opener wasn't sold out.
clipped from
Empty seats at South African Confederations Cup stadium

FIFA has been forced to rethink its ticket policy after the first two days of group matches at the Confederations Cup in South Africa were played in front of thousands of empty seats.

"We are looking at measures to ensure more fans make it into the stadiums. We can only encourage them to buy tickets," FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot told German news agency DPA at a press conference Tuesday in Johannesburg.

Speculation over free tickets was fuelled after FIFA president Joseph Blatter expressed his disappointment at the low turnout for the opening day of the tournament, which featured a match between hosts South Africa and Iraq. A match between defending European champions Spain and New Zealand was particularly empty.

"We were not happy with the number of people in attendance on the opening match day," Blatter said.

FIFA President Joseph Blatter

"They need to bring in people even if they cannot afford tickets," said Blatter. "The young and poor can be brought into the stadium. Nobody will be offended by that".

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