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Fans staying away from FIFA World Cup

By The Assam Tribune

LONDON, May 23 (IANS): With international fans staying away from the FIFA World Cup, local organisers in South Africa have been forced to revise their visitor estimates down from an initial 750,000 to 200,000.

The Guardian said that World Cup is set to be a major financial disappointment for the host nation South Africa, after it became clear that international fans have decided to stay away and their tickets are being sold cheaply to South Africans.

With less than three weeks before the kick-off, June 11, South Africa's revamped airports and spruced-up cities are staging an impressive show of readiness, but now it seems that there may be half a million fewer than expected in the Rainbow nation.

Airlines, hotels and guesthouses have slashed their prices and April 15 hundreds of thousands of cut-price match tickets went on sale in South Africa, in a bid to fill 3.2 million seats at 64 matches.

South Africa�s organising committee chairman Danny Jordaan ruled out reports that the country�s crime rate � 50 murders a day � had forced the international fans to stay away.

�When I went to London in March, the only problem people kept mentioning was the recession. The global recession has played a part in the low sales of tickets, but I also think fans are influenced by whether their country has a chance. I think we will see an influx for the last 16 matches. When you have big teams going into the quarter-finals and semifinals, fans just cannot keep away,� Jordaan was quoted as saying by the daily.

He blamed FIFA�s rigid internet-based ticket sales system as a handicap to fans.

Despite the disappointment, Jordaan feels that the event will be a long-term asset.

�The new infrastructure, like the roads, the airport expansion programmes and the investment in telecoms, will be there after the World Cup and will help our economy to grow,� he said.

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Fans staying away from FIFA World Cup

LONDON, May 23 (IANS): With international fans staying away from the FIFA World Cup, local organisers in South Africa have been forced to revise their visitor estimates down from an initial 750,000 to 200,000.

The Guardian said that World Cup is set to be a major financial disappointment for the host nation South Africa, after it became clear that international fans have decided to stay away and their tickets are being sold cheaply to South Africans.

With less than three weeks before the kick-off, June 11, South Africa's revamped airports and spruced-up cities are staging an impressive show of readiness, but now it seems that there may be half a million fewer than expected in the Rainbow nation.

Airlines, hotels and guesthouses have slashed their prices and April 15 hundreds of thousands of cut-price match tickets went on sale in South Africa, in a bid to fill 3.2 million seats at 64 matches.

South Africa�s organising committee chairman Danny Jordaan ruled out reports that the country�s crime rate � 50 murders a day � had forced the international fans to stay away.

�When I went to London in March, the only problem people kept mentioning was the recession. The global recession has played a part in the low sales of tickets, but I also think fans are influenced by whether their country has a chance. I think we will see an influx for the last 16 matches. When you have big teams going into the quarter-finals and semifinals, fans just cannot keep away,� Jordaan was quoted as saying by the daily.

He blamed FIFA�s rigid internet-based ticket sales system as a handicap to fans.

Despite the disappointment, Jordaan feels that the event will be a long-term asset.

�The new infrastructure, like the roads, the airport expansion programmes and the investment in telecoms, will be there after the World Cup and will help our economy to grow,� he said.