The International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) received over 17 million ticket requests for the 2022 World Cup from fans around the world during the 20 days of the first cycle of applications which ended on Tuesday.
“Fans across the globe have proven their enthusiasm ahead of football’s biggest celebration as 17 million ticket requests were received in the first sales period of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which lasted just 20 days,” FIFA said in a statement.
The largest number of applications came from Qatari residents, according to the same statement, bringing an end to the 20-day request period.
At the same time, the largest demand was for the final match, scheduled to take place at Lusail Stadium on Dec 18. According to the statement, over 1.8 million requests were received for this match alone, with stadium capacity of around 80,000 people. Applicants will find out whether they will be the happy owners of tickets before March 8, FIFA said.
Ticket sales for the 2022 World Cup started on FIFA’s website on Jan 19. Fans were able to apply for four categories of tickets through a random draw. These included individual matches (specific matches from the opening match to the final); team-specific matches; a new FIFA product of ticket series for matches at four stadiums throughout four days; and tickets for people with disabilities.
Fans are expected to get a second chance to purchase tickets online before the final draw for the 2022 World Cup that will take place on April 1. The subsequent cycles of sales will start after the final draw.
Tickets for the game will cost between $165 for some Qatari residents and $1,600. The top price is more than 45 percent higher than best places for the 2018 final in Russia, which was won by France.
The cheapest final tickets for international fans are $600, about a third more expensive than last time and some fan groups have complained about the prices.
Organisers said about 3.3 million tickets for all games will be available. Qatari residents, including its army of migrant workers, will pay as little as $11 for a ticket to less popular games.
FIFA, which hopes to make more than $500 million from tickets, broadcasting rights and other World Cup commercial revenues, said fans who were successful in a computer lottery would be told by March 8.
After the 20 days of applications closed, FIFA said it will check applications before tickets are allocated in a computer draw.