Football: 4.5 million World Cup tickets requested so far, says Fifa

Workers plant grass inside the Arena da Amazonas Stadium in the heart of Brazil's Amazon rainforest in Manaus, on Oct 3, 2013. The stadium will host several 2014 World Cup soccer matches. More than 4.5 million tickets have already been requested for
Workers plant grass inside the Arena da Amazonas Stadium in the heart of Brazil's Amazon rainforest in Manaus, on Oct 3, 2013. The stadium will host several 2014 World Cup soccer matches. More than 4.5 million tickets have already been requested for the World Cup in Brazil, a week before the initial sales period ends, Fifa said on Thursday. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - More than 4.5 million tickets have already been requested for the World Cup in Brazil, a week before the initial sales period ends, Fifa said on Thursday.

"This impressive total so far underlines the extraordinary level of interest in this 20th Fifa World Cup being played next year in the country of the five-time world champions," Fifa marketing director Thierry Weil said in a statement.

The opening phase ends Oct 10 at 10.00am GMT (6pm Singapore time) but "football fans who apply by next Thursday have as good a chance of obtaining tickets as those who have already applied, as all applications made from the beginning to the end of the sales window are collected together and drawn on a lottery basis when the number of requests exceeds the tickets available," added Weil.

Fifa said three quarters of requests were from the host nation - amounting to more than 3.4 million tickets. Fans in Argentina requested 223,686 with 175,122 coming from the United States.

Requests came in from more than 200 countries, football's governing body said.

There are three price categories for the showpiece, starting June 12 next year.

Some 300,000 will be reserved in a special category for less well off Brazilians.

Overall, Brazil, straining to overhaul its creaking infrastucture for its first World Cup since 1950, hopes to welcome around 600,000 foreign tourists for the sporting spectacular.