World Cup ticket sales are approaching 2.5 million, according to the FIFA newspaper

DOHA: A total of 2.45 million tickets were sold for this year’s World Cup in Qatar, after more than half a million tickets were sold in the last sales period, world football’s governing body FIFA announced on Thursday.

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

FIFA stated that the most popular matches for ticket sales are Brazil’s group stage encounters against Cameroon and Serbia, Portugal’s encounter with Uruguay, Costa Rica’s clash with Germany and Australia against Denmark.

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

The cheapest tickets for fans from outside of Qatar are 250 riyals ($69). Supporters need a confirmed ticket purchase in order to book accommodation in Qatar through an official tournament website.

FIFA previously announced that it had received 3 million ticket requests for the World Cup final on December 18 – Qatar’s national holiday – at the new 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium.

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

That number has now more than doubled, with all ticket sales going to FIFA’s partners, associations, hospitality and the general public.

A total of 3,010,679 tickets are available, with FIFA saying a ‘last minute’ sales period will open ahead of the tournament on a date to be confirmed. Stationary sales also start in Doha after the start of the last-minute sales phase.

More places usually become available when interest groups return part of their allocation and during the World Cup by fans of eliminated teams.

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 planned with the opening ceremony before the host country kicks off the tournament against Ecuador on Sunday 20 November.

It will be the first World Cup in the Middle East and has been postponed to later in the year than the usual June-July schedule to escape the region’s grueling summer heat.

Published in Dawn, August 19, 2022

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