Football: World Cup ticketing centres open

Football fan Vanderson Balbino shows the eight tickets he bought for the upcoming Fifa World Cup Brazil 2014 as the designated ticketing pick-up centres opened in 12 host cities on April 18, 2014, at Botafogo's club in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. -- PHOT
Football fan Vanderson Balbino shows the eight tickets he bought for the upcoming Fifa World Cup Brazil 2014 as the designated ticketing pick-up centres opened in 12 host cities on April 18, 2014, at Botafogo's club in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. -- PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - World Cup ticketing centres opened in Brazil on Friday allowing fans who have managed to purchase match tickets for the June 12 to July 13 extravaganza to claim them.

Centres opened in 10 of the 12 host cities - fans will only be able to pick tickets up in the capital Brasilia and the southern city of Porto Alegre from next month.

More than 2.5 million - or three quarters of those available - have been sold to date via the Fifa web platform set up for the purpose and each bears the name of the buyer in an attempt to limit scalping.

Dozens of fans queued up at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, venue of the final, after the centre opened at midday (1500 GMT).

Joao Bosco, 67, and Vanderson Balbino, 27, were both in place by 9am to ensure they were first in line.

"I have tickets for four matches - including two at the Maracana," Balbino told reporters.

"As I want to see a Brazil game I am going to try (to get a ticket) in one of the cities where they are playing. I'll go with my brother so I'll have to pay double.

"I've already spent double 8,000 reais (S$4,500)." Bosco, collecting two tickets bought as birthday gifts for his daughter, Andrea, will watch Spain play Chile on June 18 at the Maracana where his father, now in his 90s, saw Brazil lose the 1950 final against Uruguay.

"My dream would be to see Brazil win in the Maracana, but it will be difficult," Bosco told AFP.