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Sport
Kit Bag

High demand for World Cup tickets, says Fifa

The National staff   |  August 22, 2013

The most popular tickets requested during the first week of internet sales were for the World Cup opener, on June 12 in Sao Paulo, and the final, to be staged at Rio’s Maracana, on July 13. Vanderlei Almeida / AFP
The most popular tickets requested during the first week of internet sales were for the World Cup opener, on June 12 in Sao Paulo, and the final, to be staged at Rio’s Maracana, on July 13. Vanderlei Almeida / AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO // More than one million tickets to the Brazil 2014 World Cup were requested by 163,000 applicants in the first seven hours of their initial internet availability on Wednesday, according to Fifa.

Qualifying for football’s biggest event is not yet finished and the December 6 draw is months away, but demand is already high, with most would-be buyers coming from Brazil, Argentina, the US, Chile and England.

The most popular tickets were those for the World Cup’s opening game in the Sao Paulo arena (more than 168,000 sought) on June 12 and those for the final in Rio’s Maracana (more than 165,000), scheduled for July 13, the statement said.

At least 300,000 of the tickets that went on sale are reserved for “those over 60 years old, students and recipients of the Bolsa Familia family grant”, Fifa said on its website. Those tickets are branded Category 4, cost between US$15 (Dh55) and $82.50, and are available only to Brazilians. Foreigners can buy tickets in the other three categories, which cost much more.

Tickets in those categories for the opening match at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo cost between $220 and $495, while those for the final range from $440 to $990.

Some Brazil fans find the tickets, except for the discount categories, too expensive, noting that nearly 24 per cent of the country’s people live on $282 per year or less.

The first phase of sales, relating to around a third of the total number of tickets available, lasts until October 6, after which a ballot will be held to determine the successful applications.

– Agence France-Presse