World Cup Tickets Going Slow, Organizers Fear Empty Stadiums

Picture this: the best national football teams in the planet playing in nearly empty stadiums during the 2010 World Cup. Impossible? Not necessarily if organizers fail to sell more than half a million tickets in the next two months. Organizers say that a “tragic” scenario where top-flight national squads would be forced to play minus the huge crowd usually associated with football is very likely due to the large number of tickets still available.

A report by the U.K.’s Mirror said that sponsors have returned close 380,000 tickets. Add to that the more than 600,000 tickets that football associations returned to organizers and you have a recipe to what could be one of the least attended World Cup in years.

Returned tickets will be made available to the public starting April 15, with organizers hoping that fans would be willing to part with their hard-earned money. However, organizers fear that selling the tickets online might not work with South African football fans, who are not familiar with buying tickets through the Internet.

The 2010 World Cup will be held in South Africa from June 11 to July 11.