3.5m World Cup ticket requests in second phase

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - More than 3.5 million requests from 199 countries were made for World Cup tickets in the second sale phase, FIFA said Thursday.

"With a little more than three million tickets available at the 12 (host) stadiums, the requests are at least 10 times more than the inventory we have available," said Thierry Weil, FIFA marketing director in charge of ticketing.

A FIFA statement said nearly 80 per cent of requests came from Brazilians, who asked for more than 2.6 million tickets for 62 of the 64 matches on offer.

Tickets for the opening match in Sao Paulo on June 12 and the final in Rio's iconic Maracana stadium scheduled for July 13 are temporarily unavailable.

"The continued high global demand for Brazil 2014 is compelling evidence of rising interest in the tournament," FIFA said.

Fans from the 32 participating teams still have until February 7 to request tickets via the FIFA website.

Only nationals or residents of the respective team's country can apply for these tickets. An electronic draw will be carried out next month in the presence of representatives of the Caixa Economica Federal Bank, the Brazilian Sports Ministry and a notary public.

All applicants will be informed by e-mail or text as to whether or not their application has been successful - either fully or partially - by next March 11, FIFA noted.

The first sale phase for about one million tickets attracted more than six million requests.

The next sale phase, which will be on a first come, first served basis,will begin next March 12.

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