South Africa’s football stadia are expected to be 95 per cent full for the matches at this summer’s World Cup, according to the organisers.
Jerome Valcke, Fifa’s general secretary, said the association was predicting up to 360,000 foreign visitors. He said: “We will be 95 per cent full (in our stadia) and that’s for sure, it took a long time and it was quite difficult.”
“The first two games have sold out, in the 16-team stage there’s no tickets and the semi-finals are sold out too.”
However there have been concerns that the global downturn made the cost of long-haul flights would put many football fans from Europe and the Americas off from visiting the tournament.
Thandiwe January-McLean, South African Tourism’s chief executive, said the forecast of international visitors had revised to 250,000 from between 350,000 and 450,000 fans.
January-McLean added organisers were preparing to ensure stadia were full for the games and had a lively atmosphere.
“We are going to fill our stadia,” she said.
“I cannot tell you exactly how many people will come but the people who are here have to have a wonderful experience.”