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Page last updated at 10:18 GMT, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 11:18 UK

Fifa to give away free tickets

The Confederations Cup trophy
South Africa's trade union confederation says low attendances are an embarrassment

Fifa will give away free tickets in an attempt to fill the thousands of empty seats at the Confederations Cup.

Fifa spokesman Nicolas Maingot said a number of complimentary tickets will be handed to institutions "which have been very supportive of the event."

Maingot did not say how many tickets would be handed out for some of the remaining group matches.

The Fifa spokesman said schools and local authorities will be among the recipients of the free tickets.

After a near sell-out in the opening match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, matches in Rustenburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein have all been played in stadiums nowhere near capacity.

Meanwhile, South Africa's trade union confederation has said the low attendances are an embarrassment to the country.

"The Congress of South African Trade Unions urgently calls upon South Africans to buy more tickets and attend the Confederations Cup matches in greater numbers," congress spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement.

"The low turnouts at some matches have been a serious embarrassment to the country and must be improved upon, if we are to demonstrate to the world our passion for soccer, and to remove any doubts about our commitment to the 2010 World Cup tournament."

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see also
Blatter unhappy over empty seats
15 Jun 09 |  African
No price change
15 Jun 09 |  African
South Africa 0-0 Iraq
14 Jun 09 |  Internationals
What is the Confederations Cup?
12 Jun 09 |  Internationals

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