Tickets sold over counter in South Africa after football fans fail to buy them online.
|Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira will need to get the best out of his players [GALLO/GETTY]|
South Africa football bosses say they want to inspire their team to victory at the World Cup by paying them cash for every goal scored.
The goal-shy Bafana Bafana have scored just 32 times in 34 matches in the last two years going into the tournament on home soil this summer.
And they’ve been offered one million rand – or $132,200 – for every goal they score at South Africa 2010.
If the cash incentive fails to raise their game, the hosts could find themselves exiting their own tournament before the knockout stages in June.
‘Pride and passion’
“We want our team to play with pride and passion, we want to inspire them,” Football Association chief executive officer Leslie Sedibe told South African television on Wednesday.
Sedibe, though, said the FA still had to conclude negotiations over a general payment and bonus structure for the finals.
He plans talks with a six-man players’ committee headed by captain Aaron Mokoena before finalising details by May 31.
“It won’t be a blank cheque,” said Sedibe.
The issue of player payments is traditionally contentious in South Africa where there have often been threatened strikes by squad members not happy with money offered.
South Africa average just over 1.1 goals per game in 250 internationals since returning to world competition in 1992 after the end of apartheid.
Tickets still available
With just over a month to go before South Africa take on Mexico in the opening match at Soccer City in Johannesburg, one problem facing organisers off the pitch is an apparent shortfall in ticket sales.
More than half of the 500,000 World Cup tickets offered for cash sales were still available, organisers said.
Initial brisk business when the fifth and final phase of sales opened in South Africa on April 15, sparking long queues, appears to have cooled.
Greg Fredericks, head World Cup local organising committee CEO Danny Jordaan’s office, told Johannesburg city councillors less than 300,000 tickets remained for the June 11-July 11 tournament.
“We are approaching 90 per cent ticket sales for the World Cup,” he said.
Fifa spokeswoman Delia Fischer confirmed that 230,000 of the allotted 500,000 phase five tickets – the first to be sold over the counter – had been sold.
Soccer’s world governing body moved to cash sales after widespread criticism that its Internet-based system was too complicated and effectively excluded millions of poor black fans in the host country who do not have access to computers or credit cards.
Supporters initially rushed to buy those seats, with 130,000 tickets sold in the first three days.
Fredericks said matches in Johannesburg and Pretoria were sold out but there were still many tickets available for matches in Polokwane, Port Elizabeth and Nelspruit.