Football: 2.3 million World Cup tickets sought by fans

Fans put in requests for 2.3 million tickets for next year’s World Cup in Brazil in the first 24 hours of Internet sales, FIFA said Wednesday.

“In the first 24 hours of ticket sales for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, more than 400,000 fans requested over 2.3 million tickets through FIFA.com,” it said.

The biggest demand came from Brazilians, followed by Argentines, Americans, Chileans and Colombians.

There were more than 372,000 ticket requests for the opening match in Sao Paulo on June 12, and more than 344,000 for the final at Rio’s legendary Maracana stadium on July 13.

The sale began Tuesday and fans have until October 10 to make their requests. In this first phase, relating to around a third of the total number of tickets available, FIFA plans to sell one million tickets.

Some tickets are reserved for “those over 60 years old, students and recipients of the Bolsa Familia family grant”, according to the International Football Federation (FIFA).

Those tickets are branded Category 4, cost between $15 and $82.50 (11-62 euros), 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 go for a minimum of $440 up to $990.

After October 10, a ballot will be held to determine the successful applications.

The same procedure will apply in the second phase where tickets will be awarded after a random draw period from December 8, 2013 to January 30, 2014, followed by a first-come, first-served period from February 26 to April 1, 2014.

Finally, there will be a last-minute sales phase from April 15 to July 13, the day of the final.

So far only hosts Brazil, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Iran have booked their places at the finals.

The World Cup will take place across 12 cities with around 600,000 foreign fans expected to attend the tournament.

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