Africans Can't Afford to Go to World Cup Games in South Africa

"We had to wait until the stadiums were finished, the camera positions put in place and the various other elements that affect the seating were done, in order to make sure that when we gave someone a seat, we knew that they would be able to see the games from there," he said.

FIFA's Secretary-General Jerome Valke told reporters at a news conference in Switzerland that the organization was pleased with the results so far of over-the-counter sales, and is "working on a number of additional programs" to help sell the remaining 300,000 tickets.

He predicted that the stadiums will be 95 percent full by the time the 2010 World Cup begins.

Valke admitted, however, that the system of relying on Internet sales may not have been the "most friendly" for local soccer fans. But even if all South Africans buy the remaining tickets, it doesn't solve the issue of the first African World Cup that most Africans will likely end up watching on television.

"I'm still hopeful it will be an African World Cup," Bloomfield said. " I was in Durban [South Africa], it was an amazing atmosphere; very loud, very enthusiastic and a mixed crowd with blacks and whites. I'm hopeful that some of that color will be on display during the tournament.

"But the fact that very few African nations, outside of the one hosting the World Cup, will be there is a real shame."

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