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World Cup Organizers Fear "Tragic" Empty Stadiums

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, left, and organizing committee chief Danny Jordaan hold a giant representation of a 2010 World Cup ticket during the official 2010 FIFA World Cup ticket unveiling at the Maponya Mall in Soweto, South Africa, April 9, 2010. AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

World Cup organizers are sweating.

It's less than two months until soccer's premier event kicks off in South Africa and 500,000 tickets - nearly a quarter of the tournament's seats - are unsold.

How is that possible, given soccer's, er, football's position as the global sport? We're not talking about Major League Soccer struggling to fill seats. This is the World Cup

According to the Associated Press, the problem is with the online ticket sale process, as the generally poor local fans aren't accustomed to using the Internet to buy tickets.

But if you ask me, maybe the real problem is the ridiculously enormous ticket size (see photo). Come on, FIFA. You can't expect people to carry those things around for two months. Maybe if you offered ridiculously enormous pockets to go along with them, but even then it's a stretch. (I'm obviously just kidding, those ticket sizes are fine).

At any rate, FIFA is scrambling to avoid what organizing committee chief Danny Jordaan called the "tragic" outcome of empty stadiums. Tickets (presumably normal size) will go on sale to the general public in South Africa April 15.