FIFA may compensate fans who missed World Cup semis

Johannesburg: The ruling football body FIFA is looking into the case of hundreds of football fans who missed the World Cup semifinal between Spain and Germany in Durban Wednesday evening after their planes were turned back because of overcrowding on the tarmac.

`It is a bit too early to make a statement because this happened only last night, but we`re looking at the matter and may consider a compensation for genuine cases,` said FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot.

Wednesday night saw chaotic scenes at Durban`s new King Shaka International airport, where charter planes carrying VIPs squatted the parking bays of scheduled carriers, causing several planeloads of fans to miss the game after being diverted back to Johannesburg.

The charter planes were supposed to drop off their passengers at the new airport and then park at Durban`s decommissioned old international airport, 60 kilometres away, for the duration of the game before returning to fetch their clients.

Instead, some charter pilots refused to continue on to the old airport, meaning scheduled flights which had booked the landing bays couldn`t land, according to Bongani Maseko, an official of South Africa`s airports company.

Top official of the World Cup organising committee, Jermaine Craig, also blamed bad weather for the hitches but said that overall the organisers have handled the large volume of traffic well since the competition kicked off.

`We have handled the traffic volumes extremely well and so are proud of the work we have done in this respect,` said Craig.


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