Soweto derby ticket prices a day­light rob­bery

Dou­bling price same as rack­e­teer­ing

Sunday World - - Sport - Xo­lile Mt­s­hazo

The famed Soweto derby yes­ter­day, fea­tur­ing Mzansi foot­ball gi­ants Or­lando Pi­rates and Kaizer Chiefs made the home team a few bob richer, as usual.

About 90 000 spec­ta­tors made their way to the FNB Sta­dium to wit­ness which of the two sides walks away with the brag­ging rights of hav­ing won the first Soweto derby of the 2018/19 sea­son. But what has left a bit­ter taste in the mouths of many a Bucs and Amakhosi sup­port­ers is the is­sue of the hik­ing of ticket prices for matches of this mag­ni­tude.

Re­mem­ber, the sold-out sign was put up a week-and-a-half be­fore yes­ter­day’s Premier­ship match – a match with noth­ing else at stake but brag­ging rights and three points for the win­ners. It has be­come a norm for PSL’s so-called big clubs to cash-in on der­bies, or any “Cat­e­gory A” match.

This scam is to the dis­ser­vice of poor sup­port­ers who must wait for pay day to pur­chase the R80 hiked ticket. And clubs have ag­gres­sively de­fended the de­ci­sion to hike ticket prices from R40 to R80.

We’ve heard that the R80 sell­ing price is “rea­son­able as we have to cover costs”. What costs? Bring­ing in mu­si­cians and DJs? Fans haven’t asked for en­ter­tain­ment, for Pete’s sake. All they want is to see is their foot­ball stars in ac­tion.

Worse still, this is a fix­tured league game and doesn’t mea­sure in com­par­i­son to maybe host­ing Barcelona, Manch­ester City or Ju­ven­tus, where fi­nan­cial mus­cle and lo­gis­tics acu­men is re­quired.

Granted, the Soweto derby is the big­gest foot­ball match in this coun­try, it cer­tainly brings smiles to the vic­tors and tears to losers, in equal mea­sure, around South Africa. It is the only sport­ing event in SA that usu­ally man­ages to fill up the more than 90 000-seater FNB Sta­dium.

But for a game that nor­mally costs an af­ford­able R40 to watch, why the dis­hon­esty of dou­bling the price? The home team has cashed in, in what I re­gard as day­light rob­bery tan­ta­mount to rack­e­teer­ing.

The big­gest losers are the sup­port­ers who were un­able to pur­chase tick­ets on time ei­ther be­cause they didn’t have money or the tick­ets are way too steep for their not-so-deep pock­ets.

Else­where in the world, derby tick­ets cost the same as any other league game, and fans don’t have to worry about go­ing out to buy bumped-up tick­ets as they are sea­son ticket hold­ers.

Hell no, not in Mzansi, where bump­ing-up of ticket prices is a reg­u­lar fea­ture in the PSL. Has Safa, as cus­to­di­ans of foot­ball, agreed to this scam? Has the move been sanc­tioned by the PSL board of gover­nors? And who con­sti­tutes the board by the way? Just ask­ing.

/Sim­phiwe N k wa l i

The Soweto derby is a joy­ous event for soc­cer fans of Or­lando Pi­rates and Kaizer Chiefs al­ways pack the sta­dium.

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