World Cup organizer Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) announced that during the first eight hours of the May 4 “ticketing [for the] second sales phase for the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” about 185,000 applications were registered: 100,000 for individual match tickets, and 85,000 for the team-specific ticket series. Soccer’s showpiece event is in South Africa June 11 through July 11, 2010.

Approximately 100,000 tickets were made available for this phase, excluding the two semi-finals and the final (matches 61, 62 and 64). Each applicant can apply for up to four tickets per match and up to seven matches in total.

More than 1.6 million requests for tickets were recorded in the first ticket sales phase between February 20 and March 31.

For the opening match, FIFA’s ticket prices range from $380 for the best seats (category 1, “generally located along the pitch [field]”) to $60 (category 4, behind the goals). For the final, the category 1 seats are listed at $757, with the seats behind the net priced at $126.

TFL and ATBS for ticketing professionals

Phase three is set for December 5 through January 22, while phase four is scheduled between February 9 and April 7.

On a related note, ITWeb, a South African portal and news site, reported that FIFA has strongly denied there are problems with its online World Cup ticket sales. ITWeb wrote, “sources within the organization say they have been inundated with complaints.”

According to ITWeb, complaints vary from being unable to log onto the FIFA Web site to being unable to complete a booking. The Web site quoted a FIFA insider: “We get a lot of angry calls… People often complain the system doesn’t reflect that their transaction has been completed, yet money gets deducted from their accounts… they’re obviously concerned about whether their transaction has been processed correctly or not.”

FIFA spokesperson Delia Fischer reportedly denied that there are problems saying that, in general, the online ticket sales process has been running smoothly, according to ITWeb.

FIFA World Cup ticket sales are handled by Match Event Services, a South African subsidiary of Zurich-based Match Services, which provides FIFA with ticketing, accommodation and event-IT services. FIFA is also headquartered in Zurich.

According to FIFA, the phase one sales period showed 1,862,319 requests from 205 countries. From that total, 555,871 tickets were drawn successfully, with 245,948 going to South Africans. Next highest was the U.S., with 69,208 tickets, followed by the UK and Germany at 39,421 and 29,330, respectively.