R50 000 price tag to watch World Cup


Durban - It’s going to be one of the biggest parties this year - sun, sea, samba and soccer - but for South Africans wanting to attend the games in Brazil, be prepared to pay about R50 000 - at the very least.

That is what you will be paying on average for tickets to the games, hospitality, flights and accommodation - and this doesn’t factor going on a shopping spree in any of the host nation’s cities.

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A performer from the Grande Rio samba school parades on a float during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Picture: Felipe DanaAn aerial view shows Estadio Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte in this  file photo. REUTERS/Washington Alves/FilesA man walks past the main entrance of the Sao Jose Municipal market in Recife, northeastern Brazil. Soccer fans coming to Recife for the World Cup in June will miss Carnival, but will still get a good taste of the city's love affair with street parties. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/Files

Soccer fever is taking hold around the globe as, in a few weeks’ time, Brazil will host the World Cup, kicking off on June 12, with the final staged on July 13.

Over 2 000 fans from across the country will be flying to Brazil for the games, said Nicky Bell, one of the directors at Edusport Travel, the exclusive national agents for selling match hospitality tickets.

Bell said there has been great interest from South Africans wanting to attend the tournament.

“We have sold 2 170 packages, meaning these are people who bought the match hospitality tickets which include tickets to the game plus hospitality such as drinks and food. People then also book their flights and accommodation with us as well,” said Bell.

She said, on average, the cost of the match tickets with hospitality, depending on which category you chose, were around $1 500 (R16 500).

Flights were in the region of R15 000 in economy with SAA Airways, which has a direct 11-hour flight from Joburg to Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil. However, if the games are in one of the other host cities such as Curitiba, then people would have to make additional travel arrangements.

“There are majority corporates travelling, some individuals and small groups of friends,” she said, adding that people were also excited to travel around the cities and take in the carnivals.

Vivian Reddy, one of KZN’s wealthiest businessmen, said he will attend one match, Spain versus Netherlands, on June 13.

“I will be able to spend only a day in Brazil as I have board meetings back in SA and it’s the financial year end. My invite came from my Spanish business partners whose CEO is also the president of Real Madrid FC,” said Reddy.

Prices for tickets, depending on the game, the teams playing and the venue, can cost up to R40 000.

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