MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. Almost 3.5 million ticket requests were submitted for matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia as national football teams booked all but nine spots in the upcoming world’s flagship football championship, FIFA announced in its statement on Thursday.
"Excitement is building prior to FIFA’s flagship event and ticket requests have been high since 14 September," the statement said. "3,496,204 tickets have been requested so far as the first sales period concludes today."
"Most of the applications have come from Russia, while international demand accounts for more than 30%," according to the statement. "German, Brazilian, Argentinian, Mexican, US, Colombian, Egyptian, Chinese, and Polish fans all rank in the top 10."
The world’s governing football body also reported that "around 150,000 tickets have been requested for the Opening Match and more than 300,000 for the Final."
The opening and the final matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held in the Russian capital of Moscow at the legendary 81,000-seat capacity Luzhniki Stadium.
The tickets for the matches of the world football championship are sold in three phases. Sales Phase 1 was divided into two stages and the initial one was held between September 14 and October 12, when fans can apply for tickets.
"During the Random Selection Draw sales period, which ended today at 12.00 Moscow time, fans had the chance to apply for tickets for every match or for specific ticket products," the FIFA said in its statement.
Given the number of applications is more than the available number of tickets, they will be allocated by a random selection draw process. Each fan will be notified of the outcome of their applications by November 16, 2017.
The FIFA also stressed in its statement on Thursday the importance of applying for the so-called Fan-IDs as soon as the tickets purchase was confirmed.
"Fans are encouraged to apply for this free document as soon as possible after they received their ticket confirmation email following the confirmation of the outcome of the random selection draw," the statement said. "The Fan-ID and a valid ticket are required for fans to be able to enter the 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums."
"Having a Fan-ID gives fans additional benefits and services provided by the host country, such as visa-free entry to the Russian Federation, certain free inter-host city travel and free use of public transport on match days," according to the statement.
Second stage of Phase 1 will run from November 16 to 28, during which tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
"Sales Phase 1 will restart on 16 November with a first-come, first-served sales period when the fans will be able to purchase 2018 FIFA World Cup tickets in real time on FIFA.com/tickets with immediate confirmation of successful application," the statement said.
According to FIFA’s official website, "Following the Final Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on December 1, 2017, sales Phase 2 will comprise a random selection draw period from December 5, 2017, to January 31, 2018, and a further first-come, first-served period from March 13 to April 3, 2018."
In the Last Minute Sales Phase from April 18, 2018, up until the final match day of the competition, the remaining tickets will be available for purchase on a first-come first-served basis.
After successfully hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.
The main round of the global qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup has been already concluded and nine remaining vacant spots in the championship will be determined by the play-off round.
The teams, which qualified for the next year’s championship are hosts Russia, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Germany, England, Spain, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Poland, Egypt, Iceland, Serbia, France, Portugal, Panama, Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Final Draw will be held in the Russian capital of Moscow on December 1 and the Kremlin was selected as the venue for the event.