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Ben Trovato

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

I’m at WAR with Fifa

FIFAI had a momentary lapse of reason a few weeks ago and rushed onto the Internet to get two tickets to the semi-final in Cape Town.

Brenda told me to get good seats. I told her we would have to sell the house if we wanted good seats. So I opted for the dangerously cheap R900 seats, where I presume vendors would openly hawk Fifa-approved heroin while Fifa-approved hookers provided a half-time service to the Germans.

The days crawled by. Not knowing if I had secured the tickets was slowly killing me. I drank to forget and then drank some more to remember what it was that I had forgotten. It was a terrible time for everyone.

Then, on Tuesday, an e-mail: “Your ticket request has been entered into the random selection draw and processed by the ticketing centre.”

I sprang from the couch, shrieking and whooping, and went to hug Brenda. Fearing an attack, she rabbit-punched me in the spleen and went over to the computer.

“We regret to inform you that your application was unsuccessful.”

I was crushed. Still on my knees, I began going through the seven stages of grief, passing rapidly through denial and getting stuck at anger.

Like most South African men, I don’t respond well to rejection. But instead of going out on a date-raping spree or killing someone, I sat on the couch and cried. But these were not tears of grief. These were tears of such incendiary outrage that just one, dropped from a US drone, could have demolished a Taliban outpost.

I am going to miss the World Cup. How dare Fifa do this to me? Is it because I’m white? I am an African. Actually, I’m not. I am white. But for the purposes of the World Cup, I am an African. How did they decide that my application was unsuccessful? And who made the decision – a cabal of nouveau-riche Eurotrash bean-counters sprawled in luxury hotel rooms with their loathsome snouts buried in piles of Peruvian coke?

The e-mail went on: “However, the good news is that the next sales phase commences on blah blah blah.”

Oh, right. I should keep applying then, should I? Isn’t that the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

Two million tickets have been sold, not one of them to me. My mother used to tell me that I am one in a million. She lied. I am not even one in two million.

According to the robber barons, there are still quite a few tickets available for those who are interested in catching, say, Bafana Bafana at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. I don’t even know where Polokwane is. How in God’s name would I get there? By boat?

The e-mail ends: “Make sure you can say, ‘I was there!’”

How about this: “I wanted to be, but you corrupt, double-dealing greedheads wouldn’t let me.”

You can imagine what a bitter blow it is to me that my long struggle to secure a ticket has failed. Yet, I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different that I could have done that would have been more successful. Consequently, I am at war with Fifa.


Recent comments:

  • StevenMcD
    February 15th, 2010 @14:07 #

    I feel your pain.

    I have applied 3 times for the WC and each time I've been rejected. I have no criminal record, I had the money in the bank to buy the tickets. If I hear anyone bitching on the radio again about how we aren't buying tickets I swear I will call in and moan about it.


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