South Africans queue for last World Cup tickets

JOHANNESBURG - South Africans began queuing outside ticket offices on Thursday evening after FIFA released an additional 90,000 World Cup seats on to the market including the previously sold-out final and semi-finals.

Football's ruling body said the tickets, which became available after final stadium inspections and freeing up of seats, would mean there were still 164,000 tickets available out of almost 2.9 million for the 64 matches.

More than 100 people desperate to get seats for specific matches from the newly-released batch were queuing outside a ticket office in the Sandton district of Johannesburg on Thursday.

Most said they wanted tickets for the opening match and final, semi-finals or any game involving South Africa.

Vanesh Reddy said he had been queuing since Wednesday night.

"All we want is to see a match, we just want to be part of a South Africa match. I'm not a diehard soccer fan, but I just want to be part of this celebration," he said.

Some 96 percent of tickets have been sold and FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said the target was to sell up to 97 or 98 percent, in line with previous editions of the tournament.

"This would make us very happy," he said at Ellis Park, one of the 10 World Cup venues.

Valcke said on Wednesday that 150,000 additional tickets would be released on Friday but FIFA officials said that had included tickets already for sale.

Some 34,000 of the remaining tickets will be in the special cheap $20 category available only to residents of South Africa and its neighbouring countries.

There were only 800 tickets left for the final of the month-long tournament on July 11, but several thousands for some other matches.

"One thing is clear, this is the last big inventory available for the public," said chief local organiser Danny Jordaan.

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