Round of 16 FIFA WM Stadion Köln 21.00
Switzerland v Ukraine
Tickets for games at this World Cup have been seen as prized possessions, something akin to the Golden tickets issued giving admittance to Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. Outside the stadiums people proudly have their photographs taken by friends, stadium in the background clutching their ticket. People will enquire about how you got your ticket and tell you how lucky you are. But for each ticket I have there is usually a tale to tell. For example in the last few days a Japanese friend (thanks Tetsuma!) e-mailed me to explain that he had received an offer of a conditional ticket for the game in Köln, and asked if I would like to use it. The conditional tickets were one of many different options FIFA offered, with this scheme the wording on the website led you to believe that if you applied for a ticket for seven games they would give you a ticket for one of them, although there could only be 36 hours between an e-mail being received and the match itself. There followed the small matter of working my way round the regulations that FIFA have introduced, so thanks to Tetsuma not feeling well (I hope you are better now) and my dad not having used his allocation of seven tickets (Thanks dad!). I was able to take up this offer. Further luck was to come my way as at the same time as sorting all this out I received an e-mail advising me that I had been awarded a conditional ticket for Hannover, the next day.