SA crowds need boost

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FIFA president Sepp Blatter was disappointed with the crowd numbers on the opening day of the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

South Africa's goalless draw with Iraq in Johannesburg on Sunday 14 June 2009 was watched by 48, 837 fans in a 61, 000–capacity stadium, while only 21, 649 witnessed Spain demolish New Zealand 5–0 in a 42, 000–capacity ground in Rustenburg. "I think they (the local organisers) could have done a little bit more, " Blatter said. "You can take people to the stadium on buses from school, from church. At Ellis Park as well, if they would have given the remaining seats to the boys and girls from the opening ceremony, they would be happy. They could have watched the match. "Blatter has already held talks with the South African Local Organising Committee over the issue. "There must be some action taken for the rest of the competition, " he added. "To have half–empty stadia is not FIFA. They have to do something about it. We know that the prices of the tickets cannot be too high, but bring the young people or the poor people into the stadium, and nobody will be offended by that. " The eight–team tournament is seen by many as a test run for next year's World Cup, which will be held in Africa for the first time. Meanwhile, SABC has declared itself ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup as it continues its coverage of the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup. SABC is the official broadcaster for the World Cup and its warm–up event, and has introduced daily morning and evening shows called 'Good Morning Mzanzi' and 'Good Evening Mzanzi' as support programming for this year's tournament. The morning show is airing from 06:00–07:00 while the evening show is running from 22:30–23:00. On top of the usual football updates, highlights and features, the programmes also feature a weather segment and traffic and transport details surrounding the host stadia. All of the tournament's 16 games are being broadcast live on SABC 1, with SABC 3 carrying matches scheduled to kick–off simultaneously on 20–21 June. "We are privileged as the SABC to broadcast the 2009 Confederations cup on some of our platforms to the South African community and other countries, " said SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago. "We have previously proved to the African Continent and the world that we are capable, we are ready and we have new OB vans that will make it all possible. As the public broadcaster we are really looking forward to entertaining most South African households with soccer. " The Confederations Cup, which will run through to 28 June is featuring host country South Africa, as well as Egypt, Iraq, Italy, Spain, USA, New Zealand and Brazil. About The Sport Briefing This story has been reproduced with the kind permission of The Sport Briefing. The Sport Briefing is published by PA Sport and can be found at: www. thesportbriefing. comThe Sport Briefing is updated as and when news happens, from across the global business of sport. The industry's biggest stories have an accompanying email alert, and The Sport Briefing sends subscribers a daily digest to give them an easy–to–read overview of the day's main events. Contact rory. squires@thesportbriefing. com for more information.

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