Tickets for Saturday’s African Nations Cup qualifier showdown between rivals Bafana Bafana and Nigeria at FNB Stadium continued to move at a snail’s pace with only 9‚450 sold by Friday afternoon.
Such is the desperation to put bums on the seats and avoid the embarrassment of being outnumbered on the stands by the Nigerians in South Africa’s own stadium‚ organisers are going to give away 10‚000 complimentary tickets.
Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA) chief executive Jacques Grobbelaar said 8‚302 general admission and 1‚157 hospitality tickets had been sold by Friday afternoon‚ and he was disappointed at the lack of interest in the game of this magnitude.
“It is very disappointing when the national team is not supported for a big match like this‚” Grobbelaar said.
“I am still working on about 2‚000 more suit tickets that will boost the sales and I am also expecting that there will be more sales overnight. My forecast is that we may end up selling between 12‚000 and 15‚000 between this afternoon and Saturday morning.”
While Grobbelaar did not sound too optimistic‚ Safa spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi looked on the brighter side by saying he expects a spike in sales over the next 12 hours.
“We have ‘pre-sold’ 10‚000 complimentary tickets and at the moment more than 22‚000 are gone [complimentary and tickets sold] and those people will be at the stadium tomorrow [Saturday].
“I am confident that we will reach 50 000 on Saturday because people will be rushing to buy at the last minute‚” Chimhavi said.
Nigerians immigrants have a high presence in Johannesburg and surrounding areas and Bafana will need South Africans to show the same urgency they usually display ahead of matches between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
Popular hip hop and pop star AKA has also been confirmed to provide pre-match entertainment for the match that will start at 3pm.
A win for either team will see them qualify for Afcon 2019.