A South African man who spent a greater part of early Thursday in a World Cup ticket sale queue died from a suspected heart attack in Cape Town.
Media reports say the unidentified man was in a queue with scores of soccer fans when he collapsed and died before paramedics arrived at the scene.
This week the world soccer governing body FIFA agreed to allow over-the-counter sale instead of the cumbersome online application.
Tickets went on sale at 9am at eleven centers countywide.
Television footage from news channels show people sleeping on pavements with some holding coffee mugs to warm themselves.
Reports say several fanatical fans started gathering from as early as close of business Wednesday to take advantage of the first-come first-served rule.
This is the first time fans can buy tickets over the counter in cash — the preferred method of purchasing for South African football fans, many of who are low income earners.
Fans only need to bring their national identification card and a credit card or cash when applying at the Ticketing Centres.
A maximum of 10 tickets per person per match can be purchased at this stage.
“I have no access to the internet so I felt cheated by FIFA. With over
the counter sale, I had to spend half the night in the queue, who will
want to miss the world cup” Mthabisi Nxumalo is quoted saying.
Various media reports quote people saying they had to take a day off
from work but some had to claim sick days as their bosses had denied
them official absence.
Some soccer fanatics said the long queues are a reminder of the country’s first ever democratic elections in 1994, which was won by Nelson Mandela in a landslide victory.