SAO PAULO (AP) — More than two-thirds of the World Cup matches have been sold out less than three hours after FIFA opened new ticket sales on Wednesday.
Tickets for all Brazil matches were gone in about an hour, as were the ones for all the quarterfinals and nearly all second-round matchups in the June 12-July 13 tournament.
Only about 15 matches involving less traditional teams remained available for purchase on FIFA's website some eight hours after the sales started.
This phase is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and the four highest-demand matches of the 64 did not offer tickets — the opener in Sao Paulo, the final at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, and the semifinals in Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte.
About 345,000 tickets were available in this stage, which closes on April 1. Soccer's governing body said 203,330 tickets were sold in the first five hours of sales, and the five countries with the most ticket requests were Brazil (143,085), United States (16,059), Australia (5,357), Colombia (4,574) and Argentina (3,800).
FIFA is expected to release more tickets for all matches in the last-minute sales phase that begins on April 15.
Some Brazilian fans complained of the long wait to purchase tickets on Wednesday, saying it took nearly an hour just to access the online sales platform. FIFA said it had to place fans on a virtual line because of the high demand.
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