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Fans following national teams at the 2010 World Cup will be able to support their country in greater numbers after a change in the way tickets are sold.

World governing body Fifa will allocate 12% of total stadium capacity to fans of competing teams, up from eight percent, for first round games.

"We have always been criticised for too many tickets going to the fat cats," said Fifa official David Will.

"But we are confident that at least 80% in 2010 will go to the general public."

The new 12% figure will only be for the first round of the World Cup in South Africa, with the total returning to about eight percent for matches in the knockout phase.
Tickets will go on sale in February 2009 and a new collection system will be put in place to try to stop tickets being sold on the black market.

There will be five phases of ticket sales and buyers will only be able to pick up their tickets when they get to the host nation.

"It is in much the same way as you book a movie ticket by phone or online these days using your credit card and then when you get there you access your ticket through an ATM-type machine," said Will, who is chairman of the World Cup ticketing sub-committee.

Fifa will also not be giving tickets to the football associations of participating countries to sell and distribute.

That responsibility will now go to MATCH, an organisation in Manchester which runs Fifa's hospitality and accommodation programmes and will now sell and distribute tickets.
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