January 17, 2018 Sean Burns
It’s no secret that the FIFA World Cup is a big deal. The highest profile event in the world’s most popular sport proved that fact, with FIFA announcing that over 3 million ticket requests have been submitted through the first two phases of sales for the 2018 World Cup, set to take place in Russia this summer.
“So far, most of the applications have come from Russia, with fans from Germany, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, USA, Spain, Poland and China representing top ten countries from abroad,” the statement, released Monday, said. “Overall, international demand accounts for 38%.”
According to Tass.com, FIFA reported in early December that Phase 1 of ticket sales saw just shy of 750,000 tickets allocated. Phase 2, which closes on January 31, will proceed with a random draw of remaining tickets if demand exceeds the total supply, with those chosen slated to be notified by early March. If necessary, there will be a third phase of sales, open to the public on a first come-first served basis.
Those who receive tickets will be tied to a so-called Fan-ID system, required for all who purchase tickets to the event. These IDs grant admittance to the stadiums for those who hold tickets, and also serve as a visa for foreign visitors entering Russia. The process was tested at last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, and reportedly performed well.
Matches will be played at 12 stadiums in 11 different host cities, with Russia’s capital of Moscow home to two venues. Other locations include St. Petersburg, Sochi (where the 2014 Winter Olympics were held), Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, and Samara.
Demand for tickets has obviously remained high, including from the U.S., despite the fact that the U.S. Men’s National Team did not qualify for the tournament. Participating countries, sorted by the group they were slotted into via a draw held last month in Moscow, are:
Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H: Poland, Colombia, Senegal, Japan