While foreign fans have complained about the high cost of attending this summer's World Cup in South Africa, the host's government is issuing free entry visas, which normally cost $57, to ticket-holding visitors. The hope is that the gesture will entice more foreign fans to buy unsold seats.
"Visas will be issued free of charge to anybody who possesses a FIFA World Cup ticket or the certificate that proves that they have purchased their ticket," Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba said. "These visas will be provided in South Africa's foreign missions and we have made available these visas to about 112 missions abroad.
Estimates for the number of foreigners coming to South Africa for the World Cup have fallen from 450,000 to 200,000. Citizens of the USA or Britain, who do not need visas to enter South Africa, are unaffected by waiver.