/ Soccer

FIFA bemoan negative SA press

Updated: Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010 15:30

FIFA have criticised press coverage of South Africa
FIFA have criticised press coverage of South Africa

FIFA have named England and Germany as two of the many culprits that continue to portray South Africa in a negative light ahead of the World Cup.

The world governing body today released figures from their latest ticket-sales phase and initial numbers suggest that two out of three million tickets have been sold with less than five months to go before kick-off.

The third window period for sales ended last week with a total of 1,206,865 applications received from 192 countries - apart from the hosts, the highest demand has come from the USA (50,217), the UK (41,529) and Australia (15,523).

But the organisation's general secretary Jerome Valcke said: ‘It's sad that every morning you wake up and every morning there are articles from the world's football family saying that people should not fly to South Africa, that this is a dangerous country, that this is not good, that there is no way this person should fly to South Africa because it is a crazy country, that FIFA and (Sepp) Blatter made the wrong decision to host the World Cup in South Africa.

‘What we are asking is for fair treatment for South Africa, the same treatment that all the other World Cup countries got.

Asked to pinpoint which countries were largely responsible for the negative press, he added: ‘I would say mainly in Europe from Germany and England. These are the two countries.

‘I have not seen so much from France, Italy or Spain or from Holland or any of the other countries that have qualified.

‘But again, these two countries are very big voices in the football family and that's why any time they are talking about the World Cup football, it's immediately in the headlines.

‘So there is no specific person, there are a lot of people who have been talking about South Africa and saying 'don't go to South Africa' so my comment is going to all of them and not specifically to one of them.’