World Cup ticket sales near 2.5 million, organizers say


DOHA, Qatar, August 18A total of 2.45 million tickets have been sold for this year’s World Cup in Qatar, after more than half a million in the last sales period, organizers said on Thursday.

World football governing body FIFA said 520,532 were sold between July 5 and August 16, Qatar, United States, England, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, UAE Arab States, with France, Argentina, Brazil and Germany being the main countries of residence for those buying match tickets.

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

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

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

There are 3,010,679 tickets available in total, with FIFA saying a “last minute” sales period will open before the tournament starts on a date yet to be confirmed.

More than a million visitors are expected in Qatar, a small Gulf state of 2.8 million inhabitants, for the first World Cup in the Middle East.

Last week, the organizers announced that the competition would start a day earlier than planned, on November 20, with Qatar taking on Ecuador in the first game.

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