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Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:59 UK

World Cup final tickets to go on sale in South Africa

By Piers Edwards
BBC Sport, Johannesburg

Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke and tournament chief Danny Jordaan
300 tickets are still available for the World Cup final

Tickets are still available for every game at the World Cup in South Africa, including the final.

Organisers have revealed that 300 tickets for the 11 July decider will now be available when the last sales phase begins on Thursday.

Fifa says a 'significant number' of tickets have been returned by commercial partners in recent weeks.

South Africans will now be able to buy World Cup tickets over-the-counter for the first time.

Around 500,000 tickets are still available for Africa's first World Cup, with 2.2m having already been sold.

"We know that people have been waiting for the over-the-counter sales to start and now it's finally happening," said Horst Schmidt, the chairman of Fifa's ticketing sub-committee.

Tickets for all 64 matches are still available - with the final and the Group C clash between England and the United States proving the most popular games.

Many South Africans were unable to apply for tickets under the previous system because they did not have bank accounts or access to the internet.

Nevertheless locals have bought up the most World Cup tickets - snapping up nearly a million, while the United States comes second with 118,945 applications.

Around a quarter of the tickets still available are exclusively reserved for South Africans, for whom a separate category costing US$19 has been created.

The country's football fans rarely pay more than 20 rand (US$3) to watch a local game.

From Thursday morning, tickets will go on sale to the general public in South Africa at supermarkets, banks and eleven special ticketing centres - while those outside the host nation can purchase on Fifa's website from 1600 GMT.

Experts believe the global recession, inflated cost of travelling to and within South Africa as well as safety fears surrounding the host nation have contributed to the low sales.

450,000 fans were originally expected to travel to the 2010 World Cup, although Fifa recently downgraded the figure to 350,000.

The World Cup runs from 11 June-11 July, with both the opening match and final being played in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium.

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see also
Fifa urges SA fans to buy tickets
09 Apr 10 |  World Cup 2010
Africans 'can afford World Cup'
02 Mar 10 |  Africa
World Cup 2010 group draw and fixtures
04 Dec 09 |  Football

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