By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Football fans from all over the world can now request the tickets for their preferred game for the 2014 World Cup, as the first application round for tickets started on Tuesday, August 20th. The application process will go on until October 10th, after which tickets will be distributed through a random draw in case demand exceeds supply of tickets regardless of application date.
Ticket applications can be made on FIFA’s website, football’s (soccer) world governing body and organizer of the World Cup. Brazilian residents have a right to reduced ticket prices, including half-price tickets for students and Bolsa Família members. A ticket for a group game in the lowest category, that is four, costs R$60 for Brazilian residents.
Every applicant can request a maximum of four tickets. Demand for tickets is expected to exceed supply. If this happens, successful applications will be distributed through a lottery in the days between October 11th and November 4th.
In the first 24 hours after ticket application was opened to the public 2.3 million tickets were requested by more than 400,000 people. Most requests came from Brazil, with 1.9 million ticket applications, followed by Argentinians, Americans, Chileans and Colombians.
The most popular games were the opening match in São Paulo, featuring the Brazilian team, with more than 372,000 requests and the finale in Rio’s Maracanã Stadium with 344,000 applications. The renovated stadium seats approximately 80,000, and the final will be the only chance for the Brazil team to play in Rio during the tournament.
The next ticketing round will be from December 8th until January 30th. At this point the team pairings of each game will be already set. The last ticketing phase will start on April 15th, during which tickets will also be sold in the host cities directly. In between those rounds some first-come, first-served ticket sales will take place.
FIFA is optimistic about the World Cup in Brazil after the successful Confederations Cup. FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke said: “The Confederations Cup was very important, and not only because Brazil won, but because of the organization and the support received from fans. We still face some difficulties, but we work together and it gives me the comfort to say that, yes, the World Cup will be successful. There is no doubt,” he said at a press conference.
FIFA also offers the possibility to be part of hosting a successful World Cup in Brazil through its volunteer program, which targets bilingual volunteers. Sign-ups begin on September 9th.
Read more (in Portuguese).
* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.