By Olawale Alabi
World football body FIFA on Friday in Moscow said interest in the ongoing 2018 World Cup has been overwhelming as it allocated 2,608,527 tickets to fans worldwide since September.
Colin Smith, FIFA’s Chief Competitions and Events Officer, told reporters at the Luzhniki Stadium also that 2,178,894 spectators have visited all the 12 stadiums since June 14 when the competition began.
“Since ticket sales started back in September 2017, interest in Russia 2018 has been overwhelming. So far, 2,608,527 tickets have been allocated to fans all around the world.
“Also, the number of spectators who visited FIFA World Cup matches across all 12 stadia during the Group Stage, which began on June 14 in Moscow and ended on Thursday in Saransk and Kaliningrad, totalled 2,178,894.
“Now, as the Group Stage is over, we are sure that all football fans are eagerly looking forward to the Knockout Stage which begins in Kazan on Friday, June 29, 2018,’’ he said.
Smith added that the average match attendance during the Group Stage was 45,394, while the average stadium occupancy during the Group Stage was 98 per cent.
He revealed that the total number of tickets resold to date via the official resale platform accessible at FIFA.com/tickets was 87,609.
The FIFA official also said 1,117,921 tickets were allocated directly via FIFA.com/tickets and at FIFA Venue Ticketing Centres to fans from host country Russia.
“The top-10 list of international countries in terms of tickets allocation via FIFA.com/tickets and FIFA Venue Ticketing Centres is headed by the U.S. with a figure of 97,439.
“Brazil has 74,803, Germany 71,687, Colombia 68,667, Mexico 65,023, Argentina 61,153, Peru 46,212, China 42,968, Australia 37,130 and England 34,235,’’ he said.
Smith however pointed out that the figures are subject to change as ticket sales are ongoing until July 15 when the competition will come to an end in Moscow.