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World Cup ticket sales approach 2.5 million, says FIFA

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DOHA: A total of 2.45 million tickets have been sold for this year’s World Cup in Qatar after over half a million were snapped up in the latest sales period, world football governing body FIFA announced on Thursday.

FIFA said that 520,532 were sold in the first-come, first-served phase between July 5 and August 16, with Qatar, the United States, England, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, France, Argentina, Brazil and Germany the leading countries of residence for those purchasing match tickets.

FIFA stated that the most popular games for ticket sales include Brazil’s group-phase encounters against Cameroon and Serbia, Portugal’s meeting with Uruguay, Costa Rica’s clash with Germany, and Australia against Denmark.

“Fans living in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, England, Argentina, Brazil, Wales and Australia led the way and the digital queues by securing the biggest number of tickets,” FIFA said.

The cheapest tickets for fans from outside Qatar are priced at 250 riyals ($69). Fans need a confirmed ticket purchase to book places to stay in Qatar through an official tournament website.

FIFA previously said it got 3 million ticket requests for the World Cup final on Dec 18 — Qatar’s national day — at the new 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium.

In June organisers said there had been “record-breaking” demand for tickets at a time when 1.2 million had been sold.

That figure has now more than doubled, with total ticket sales including those going to partners of FIFA, federations and for hospitality, as well as to the general public.

There are 3,010,679 tickets available altogether, with FIFA saying a “last-minute” sales period will open in the run-up to the start of the tournament at a date still to be confirmed. Over-the-counter sales will also start in Doha after the launch of the last-minute sales phase.

More seats typically become available as stakeholders return some of their allocation, and during the World Cup from fans of teams that are eliminated.

More than a million visitors are expected in Qatar — the tiny Gulf state with 2.8 million inhabitants — for the 64-game tournament in eight stadiums in and around Doha.

The World Cup begins a day earlier than originally scheduled with the opening ceremony taking place before the host nation kick off the tournament on Sunday, Nov 20 against Ecuador.

It will be the first World Cup staged in the Middle East and has been pushed back to later in the year than its typical June-July schedule to avoid the region’s punishing summer heat.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2022

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