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News : Ticket demand crashes system

A death and a system meltdown marred Thursday's opening of Fifa's new ticket office on the Foreshore.

A pensioner from Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, Ralph van Heerden, died while queuing with hundreds of other people hoping to secure their seats at soccer's showpiece.

Van Heerden was a former city employee who, according to police, retired only in December.

The computer failure affected ticket offices across the country.

Only a few people had their applications for the World Cup tickets processed at the Foreshore office and at First National Bank (FNB) branches on Thursday morning as the system crashed under the heavy demand.

More than 550 000 tickets went on sale from 9am at 11 Fifa ticket offices in the nine host cities.

FNB's 2010 marketing communications officer, Vicki Trehaevan, said: "The Fifa ticket system is down. We are linked to that national ticketing system and are unable to issue any tickets until the system is up and running again."

Trehaeven said all ticket centres were linked to one system. She cited the huge volume of ticket requests as a reason for the comptuer system crashing.

At the time of going to press reports filtered through that many people were abandoning the queues outside FNB branches.

Source: IOL

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