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Beckenbauer slams pricey World Cup tickets

German football legend Franz Beckenbauer has slammed the cost of World Cup ticket prices and said fans here are put off by the travel costs to South Africa as well as security risks in the country.

Beckenbauer slams pricey World Cup tickets
Photo: DPA

Beckenbauer, who captained Germany to World Cup success in 1974 and coached the winning side in 1990, says few German fans can afford the expensive tickets and are put off by South Africa’s reputation for crime.

Only 6,700 of the 21,000 tickets allocated for German fans have been bought by supporters here eager to see their heroes play against Ghana, Serbia and Australia in the group stages.

“Not only are there doubts by those thinking of travelling there, because of security, but the tickets are too expensive,” Beckenbauer, who is on FIFA’s executive committee, told German broadcaster Sky.

“What normal person can afford €5,000 to €6,000 for one week?” he added without specifying how he reached the figure.

The cheapest ticket for the tournament’s first game, South Africa against Mexico in Johannesburg on June 11, costs €140 ($200), according to the FIFA website The most expensive ticket for the final on July 11 is €630 while the cheapest ticket for a group stage game is €56, while accomodation is said to be expensive for the tournament.

While organisers are making every effort to ensure fans safety at the World Cup, the first to take place on the African continent, Beckenbauer says there are still safety issues.

“The organisers are doing everything to ensure the event has the best security,” said the former Bayern Munich defender. “They are prepared for nearly every type of attack, they can’t do more But no country in the world can now say they are 100 percent safe.”

And Beckenbauer even offered advice for fans travelling to the tournament.

“People need to be watching out everywhere they go,” said Beckenbauer. “It’s best to be over-cautious, stay in groups whenever possible.”

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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