Blogs & Opinion


That empty feeling

Lashias Ncube frowns upon empty seats at World Cup games while praising the Johannesburg inhabitants in his latest blog...

Features Posted 16th June 2010 view comments

On the eve of the showpiece, Fifa General Secretary Jerome Valcke and the Local Organising Committee confidently declared that all matches at the 2010 edition of the World Cup would be sold out.

We listened to officials' upbeat predictions and grand promises. When they turned their TV sets on viewers worldwide would see only bums on seats creating an atmosphere second to none and not a single empty seat sticking out like a sore thumb, we were told.

Flags flying high in Johannesburg

Flags flying high in Johannesburg

While the tournament has not lacked in vibe and euphoria, especially at the beautiful stadiums, many games have been anything but full. There were sections of Soccer City that were sparsely populated for the opening ceremony, something unheard of at previous tournaments.

The blame should be put squarely on Fifa's ridiculous and unnecessarily complicated ticketing system. And to think how difficult it was to obtain tickets during every ticketing phase! Many people were left disappointed by the random selection draw and then the first-come-first-serve phase as 'there were no tickets available'.

The clash between Japan and Cameroon in Bloemfontein on Monday was not the best advert for this World Cup in terms of attendances. There were gaping holes throughout the ground.

This could easily have been avoided and will leave those who tried desperately in vain and failed to secure tickets to the match in question bitterly disappointed.

Fiasco

Then there is the fiasco surrounding fans who thought they had obtained tickets, but were later told, after paying for them, that they had not.

Confusion between MATCH and First National Bank (FNB) meant that tickets were paid for, but never registered on the MATCH system, meaning money was taken but no tickets issued.

This was something of a poor start to a tournament which, on the whole, has gone off without major glitches. Those who attended matches around the country have testified to the incredible atmosphere at the stadiums - full or not.

Hopefully this will be sorted before more unrest spreads, tainting an otherwise good tournament to a point where it is remembered for all the wrong reasons.

It's not all bad though. The people of Johannesburg have really embraced the tournament. Every second house has flags flying high, while some have gone a little overboard and have completely decked their properties out with all sorts of paraphernalia.

Cars are no different, with window flags, mirror socks and stickers being displayed with pride on every road, at every intersection and on every highway. It really is a joy to behold.

Even shopping centres, landmarks, buildings and office blocks are literally showing their colours.

The World Cup has really struck a chord with the people of Johannesburg and hopefully these will be the tournament's enduring memories.

Comments (1)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Glen Cleland (Leeds United fan) says...

I think the seats aren't sold out because of the price getting to south africa but its the spending of the flights accomodation and the getting to the matches. it comes to nearly £2000 so thats why people won't go

Posted 11:15 16th June 2010

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Gerrard hard to replace

Jamie Carragher says there’s no natural replacement for Steven Gerrard in the England team....

Martin Tyler

Tyler: We need Stevie's values

Steven Gerrard can inspire the next generation of England stars even in retirement, says Martin Tyler....

Dwight Yorke

Yorke: Van Gaal impressive

Dwight Yorke has tipped Louis van Gaal to take Man Utd back to the top of the Premier League....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Michel Vorm agrees terms with Spurs as Gylfi Sigurdsson has a Swansea medical, while QPR are set to sign Steven Caulker.

Gerrard quits England duty

England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international football.

Koeman: No new bids for Lovren

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman insists they have not received a new bid from Liverpool for defender Dejan Lovren.

Vorm, Sigurdsson set for moves

Swansea keeper Michel Vorm has agreed personal terms with Tottenham, with Gylfi Sigurdsson set to move the other way.

Live: Sydney FC 0 Newcastle 3

Live updates from the pre-season friendly in Sydney.

Features

Steven Gerrard international retirement: England captain deserves our admiration and will be missed in midfield

Steven Gerrard international retirement: England captain deserves our admiration and will be missed in midfield

“He is an incredible man and a fantastic footballer who we have all been blessed to see in an England shirt so often.

The Premier League new boys arriving from Spain

The Premier League new boys arriving from Spain

Once again the bulging purses have seen the Premier League keeping La Liga afloat with their abundant transfer fees. There has been a fair amount of bustling, buying activity so far this summer, especially with Jose Mourinho raiding Atletico Madrid's squad for a Chelsea quick fix.

David Ospina & World Cup bargain buys from Brazil 2014

David Ospina & World Cup bargain buys from Brazil 2014

As Liverpool proved with a fee rising to £26million for Adam Lallana, buying English means paying big money. Meanwhile, despite the huge audience, the World Cup still represents the chance to uncover fantastic value in players across the planet. And Colombia's David Ospina is just one of many.