World Cup special: Q&A

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The Independent Online

Q: Can I get to see an England game?

A: It's too late to apply through the FA's official supporter's club, englandfans, and although Fifa is offering half a million tickets in their final sales phase, which opened on 15 April, these don't include any of England's group matches, or the semi-finals and final, which sold out in February. But there is availability for the other knock-out matches. You could take a punt on England winning their group and returning to Rustenburg for the Group of 16 game, or finishing second, which would take them to Bloemfontein and a likely meeting with Germany.

Q: I've heard there are various scams and dodgy tickets in circulation.

A: All official tickets are marked with the name of the person or organisation that originally bought them, and turnstile operators will be checking they match the information on your passport. Buying tickets through listings and auctions websites is an open invitation to fraudsters.

Q: What's the South African attitude to rowdy behaviour?

A: Crowd trouble seldom rears its head in South African sport, but necessary precautions are in place. British police forces will be liaising with the host nation to identify known trouble-makers, who will be stopped and sent home if they attempt to enter the country.

Q: What welcome can be expected?

A: By mid-April, more South Africans had bought tickets for England's qualifying games than those of their own country, whose recent form has been poor. Paul Burnham, founder of the raucous "Barmy Army" that follows England's cricket team, believes his soccer counterparts will be popular. "South Africans do like English fans coming over," he said. "We found them very friendly and amenable."

Q: I just want to see the World Cup and don't care whether I see England or not. What are my chances?

A: Excellent, all the tour operators would be delighted to accommodate you. "Many of our clients just want to be part of the experience, and don't much care which games they see," said Thomson Sport's Devon. Algeria versus Serbia at Polokwane, anyone?

Q: I'm on a tight budget. Can I arrange it all independently?

A: As long as you've sorted out your match tickets, you could mix and match offers from the official tour operators. Thomas Cook Sport has a flights-only deal from £680 and there are many flight and accommodation-only deals that could lower your overall costs by £1,000 or more. You could save even more if you're more adventurous with your sleeping arrangements. The tented village at Rustenburg costs £50 per night with breakfast, with match-day buses running to and from Johannesburg, 90 minutes away. Another option is the home-stay scheme, which links fans with locals for bed and board, from £60 per night for two people. Try Classic Hospitality (00 27 11 463 2338; classichospitality.co.za). In Johannesburg, the 3 Lions Football Village (00 27 72 595 8388; 3lionsvillage.com) has dormitory-style rooms from £39 per night.

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