Americans tops among non-Brazilian ticket purchases for World Cup
FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil (AP) - FIFA said Friday it has allocated 2.3 million tickets for the World Cup, with Brazilians and Americans receiving most of them.
Football's governing body said the 2014 tournament is ''the most successful World Cup'' in terms of requests, with nearly 10 million people trying to get a hold of the 3.3 million tickets available for the first World Cup in Brazil since 1950. It said people from 228 countries made ticket requests for the 64 matches so far.
About 57 percent of the tickets were assigned to Brazilians, totaling 906,433. Americans grabbed 125,465, with Colombians (60,231) and Germans (55,666) behind them. They are followed by fans in Argentina, England, Australia, France, Chile and Mexico.
FIFA said about 1.5 million tickets went to the general public, with the rest accounting for hospitality programs, commercial affiliates and other groups.
''The teams can count on the support of their fans in the 12 stadiums in Brazil,'' FIFA Marketing Director Thierry Weil said. ''This shows the huge anticipation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on all corners of the world and that we can expect an incredible atmosphere at all matches in the stadiums in June and July.''
A total of 473,076 tickets were allocated during the second random selection draw for all matches except the June 12 opener between Brazil and Croatia in Sao Paulo and the July 13 final in Rio de Janeiro.
A random draw took place to allocate the tickets for matches where the demands surpassed the number of entrances available.
About 160,000 tickets will be available in the next sales phase, which will begin next month. This time, tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. The last-minute sales phase is expected to start on April 15 and run until the day of the final.
In the next phase, there will be tickets for all matches except the opener and the final, as well as England vs. Italy and United States vs. Portugal, both in Manaus. Tickets for the round of 16 matches in Porto Alegre and in Sao Paulo, along with a semifinal in Belo Horizonte, also won't be available.
FIFA received more than 6.2 million ticket applications in the first phases, with each applicant allowed to request up to four tickets for a maximum of seven matches. About 900,000 tickets were sold in the first stage and the nearly 230,000 tickets available in the second phase were sold out just seven hours after being made available on FIFA's website.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.