Every 4 years, just like the Olympics but a bit better, or much better, depends how much you love soccer or not, it arrives. The FIFA World Cup, the biggest stage for national team soccer. We’re one year away from the 2010 edition, taking place in South Africa, the first World Cup to take place in Africa.
First, Details. The World Cup in South Africa will begin on June 11th and end on July 11th. It will see 64 games take place with 32 teams participating. Eight groups with four teams in each one, each team plays three games against their group rivals. Top two teams from each group advance to a round of 16, and from there it’s the usual – Quarter Finals, Semis and Final, including a game for the third place between the Semi Finals losers.
The games will take place in 10 venues – Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg (host to the opening game and Final among others), Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, Coca Cola Park, also in Johannesburg, Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit and the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
Now the big question is – how to get tickets to the games, and not take a second mortgage on the house?
First, lets make it clear – Getting to South Africa isn’t cheap, from anywhere in the world. I’m sure a lot of travel agencies will be selling packages to the World Cup as soon as all the qualifiers are known, and those packages won’t be cheap. You can try and win some sort of Media Contest, but what are the chances of that?
The best option is to apply for tickets via Fifa.com. Why there? Because that’s where you can get them straight from the source and at reasonable prices. If you’re planning on flying to South Africa and getting one there or through e-bay, get ready to clean out your bank account.
So how do you get those tickets? Simply apply on FIFA’s site for them. You can apply for General tickets or team specific, whatever you perfer. Team Specifc are a bit more expensive, but what can you do. In general, tickets go between 80-160 US Dollars, depending on where the seat is. Not cheap as hell, but pretty good prices. Those are of course for the group stage games. It gets more expensive later on, but for a once in a lifetime experience like the world cup, it’s worth it.
That’s it more or less. Not very complicated, not very expensive, well worth the effort I think. The application works on a first come – first serve line, so go to FIFA’s ticketing page for the World Cup and everything will be expained and you can apply through there. Good Luck.