Thousands of fans queue for three and half hours and only 32 tickets get sold?
Thousands of fans who queued overnight in South Africa finally got their hands on World Cup tickets, but scuffles broke out as computers crashed.
Some 500,000 tickets were sold at various venues on Thursday.
But police used pepper spray to control frustrated fans and in Cape Town a 64-year-old man died from a heart attack.
The tragedy in Cape Town came after fans from all over the country had queued from Wednesday afternoon as World Cup fever gripped South Africa.
Tickets for all matches, including the 11 July final, remain available.
BBC sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar said Fifa’s integrated ticketing computer had encountered problems, resulting in long waiting times for queuing fans.
After three and a half hours in Cape Town, only 32 people out of a crowd of about 1,000 had managed to buy tickets.
“No one’s informed us about what’s going on. No one’s directing the public outside,” said Theo Spangenberg, who had been waiting for 16 hours and still had not made it inside the newly opened ticketing centre.
“For a World Cup, an international event of this nature, it’s a really, really bad show.”
The ticket centres opened across the country at 0900 (0800 BST) for the last phase of sales.
One man fortunate enough to get tickets was Malin Fisher, a 32-year-old trainee church minister. Fisher was first through the doors of a shopping mall in Soweto and spent more than 10,000 rand (£880) on six tickets, including two for the World Cup final.
South African fans have been snapping up the available tickets
“The internet and applying was a bit frustrating but to be able to buy World Cup final tickets over the counter, that was amazing,” he said.
BBC Africa correspondent Andrew Harding said there were exuberant scenes in Sandton, north of Johannesburg, where people camped out on the street through the night.
“I just want to be part of the magic of 2010,” said Deon McCarthy. “That’s why I’m here. Look at the atmosphere, the spirit here. It’s great.”
Many South Africans had complained the original process, by which tickets were sold through Fifa’s website or in a complicated ballot at a local bank branch, excluded people without web access, credit cards or the disposable income to pay months in advance.
“We are excited about these new initiatives, which make the process much easier for everyone,” said World Cup 2010 boss Danny Jordaan.
“We have always said that it is important that we make this World Cup more accessible to the people and with over the counter sales, we believe this measure is consistent with the needs of the fans.”
Fifa and local organizers had come under pressure to sell a large tranche of tickets for the month-long tournament beginning on 11 June with so many remaining unsold.
Ticket prices are well above normal for top-level football in South Africa.
Those in a special category for local residents sell at 145 rand (£13), but costs escalate drastically in other categories and for games after the first-round group phase.
Prices for premier seats at the final come in at 6,582 rand (£581).
Demand in South Africa had initially been sluggish but the most recent phase saw 85% of the 240,000 tickets sold between February and the beginning of April go to locals.
Fifa has since revealed that 2.2m tickets have been sold for the tournament. (BBC Sport)
So there you have it. After weeks of organisational planning the sale of this portion of World Cup tickets appears to have been something of a farce and the fact that there are still tickets available for the World Cup Final at this late stage is surely a worrying sign for the potential success of the event.
Amid security fears ahead of this summers showpiece tournament the fact that even those who wanted to buy tickets found it hard to hand over their money seems to sum everything up to a tee. The fear is of course that stadiums will be half empty for the key stages of tournaments because the pricing of those games will be sky high and supporters of the teams taking part not willing to travel to SA for the games will lead to lifeless terraces.
Hopefully all these fears will be proven unfounded and that everything will pass off without incident and that football will win the day (fingers crossed).