FIFA delays next phase of World Cup ticket sales
SAO PAULO (AP) — FIFA will delay the start of the next phase of ticket sales for the World Cup because it needs to give Brazilian authorities more time to supervise the lottery for the more than six million requests made in the first stage.
FIFA said Tuesday it needs “to ensure the Brazilian authorities’ involvement in supervising the procedures for the allocation of tickets following the first sales period.”
Brazilian officials are entitled to supervise the lottery based on the World Cup bill approved by FIFA. The delay was caused by the time they took in deciding how to conduct that supervision.
Football’s governing body said it would not be able to inform applicants for the 6.2 million ticket requests by the original deadline on Monday, so it delayed the start of the second stage from Nov. 5 to Nov. 11. Brazilian fans, who are entitled to discounted tickets, made the majority of ticket requests.
“As the next sales period is on a first-come, first-served basis, it is essential that all those applicants for tickets from the first period have been informed on the status of their application by the time we reopen sales,” FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil said in a statement. “We cannot risk any fan not being aware of his/her success before we put the remaining tickets on the market. Obviously, our priority is to ensure every applicant has an equal chance of success.”
The next sales period will end Nov. 28. Fans will be allowed to make purchases again beginning on Dec. 8, after the World Cup draw determines where and when each of the 32 teams will play.
Football fans applied for nearly double the total of tickets that will be available for next year’s tournament, the first in Brazil since 1950. Organizers expect a total of nearly 3.3 million tickets to be sold, 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, with Brazilians making about 70 percent of the requests, followed by Americans, Argentines and Germans.
Brazilian authorities are in Manchester to supervise the electronic lottery, which FIFA said will require “up to 1,000 individual draw procedures potentially taking more than 24 hours.”
FIFA said that by Nov. 10 all applicants will be informed by e-mail or text message if their request was successful. Once the lottery has been completed, FIFA will announce how many of the one million tickets remain available for the next period.
“We know we’ll be forced to disappoint a host of committed supporters, but even if we’d had three times the number of tickets, we’d still have fallen well short of fulfilling everyone’s wishes,” Weil said. “We’d just like to encourage the fans to have another go in the remaining sales phases.”
FIFA said in a statement that it received applications from 203 countries, with the most sought after matches being 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 were made for the final.
Each applicant could request for up to four tickets for a maximum of seven of the 64 matches.
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