SAO PAULO – Soccer fans have applied for more than six million World Cup tickets, nearly double the total available in Brazil next year.
Because of the high demand, FIFA will hold a random draw to allocate the tickets to those who applied in the first phase, which ended on Thursday.
The second phase will be from Nov. 5-28, with tickets available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Fans will be allowed to make purchases again on Dec. 8, after the World Cup draw determines where and when each of the 32 teams will play.
Organizers expect a total of nearly 3.3 million tickets to be available for the first World Cup in Brazil since 1950, but only about one million were offered in the first phase. One million requests were made in the first seven hours after the sales opened in late August, and another one million requests were made in the past week.
Brazilians made 70 percent of the requests, followed by Americans, Argentines and Germans.
Each applicant could request for up to four tickets for a maximum of seven of the 64 matches.
FIFA said in a statement that it received applications from 203 countries, with the most popular request the opener in Sao Paulo on June 12 and the final at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 13. More than 720,000 tickets were requested for the opener and more than 750,000 for the final.
Prices for the final range from $440-$990, although Brazilian fans will pay $165 in the cheaper category. Brazilians over age 60, local students and members of some social programs will be allowed to pay about $82 a ticket. Prices for the opener go from $220-$495, with Brazilians paying $80 and discounted tickets costing $40.
All of Brazil's matches also were in high demand.
The most popular host cities were Sao Paulo, Rio and Curitiba. FIFA said there was also "great interest" in the team-specific ticket series, with Argentina and the Netherlands among the most sought after.
Of the 6.1 million ticket requests, Brazilians applied for 4.3, followed by Americans (374,065), Argentines (266,937), Germans (134,899), Chileans (102,288), English (96,780), Australians (88,082), Japanese (69,806), Colombians (55,379) and Canadians (49,968).
FIFA said it has until Nov. 4 to inform applicants whether they will get the tickets they applied for in the first phase.
Nearly 800,000 fans attended the Confederations Cup in Brazil this year, with ticket sales easily surpassing those for the warm-up tournament in South Africa in 2009 and in Germany in 2005.
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