World Cup organizers have hit a few speed bumps in the service sector. Credit: Metro World News The focus may be now on the pitch, but World Cup organizers and FIFA are still experiencing teething problems (literally) in properly hosting their games. Supporters have been complaining of lack of staff serving food and drink refreshments inside the stadiums, with many fans waiting in excess of 15 minutes just to pick up a beverage.
The Local Organizing Committee for the World Cup did admit that around a third of staff members did not turn up to work for Sunday's Ecuador-Switzerland match in the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia. This resulted in many fans still waiting outside half an hour after the match had kicked off.
But it's not just the lack of staff that has proved striking – it's the lack of supporting fans. TV viewers have spotted hundreds of empty seats at opening games that were supposed to be sold out. More than 3,500 seats were empty for the game of the tournament so far, when Holland routed defending champion Spain 5-1 in Salvador on Friday, according to FIFA's match reports and its stadium capacity.
Another game with a high number of unused seats was Ivory Coast-Japan in Recife, when 2,316 chairs were empty, according to data on FIFA.com.
The world footballing body announced a day before the tournament that more than 2.9 million tickets had been allocated, with only 9,327 remaining. However, a large number of 'allocated' seats, normally held for worldwide football associations, do remain unsold, explains British newspaper The Independent.