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MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. The amount of requested tickets in the course of the opening sales period for the matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is very inspiring and exceeds expectations, Director General of Russia-2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Alexey Sorokin told TASS on Thursday.
FIFA announced in its statement earlier in the day that "3,496,204 tickets have been requested so far as the first sales period concludes today."
"This is indeed a very good and inspiring figure," Sorokin said in an interview with TASS. "As soon as many teams have qualified (for the championship), new countries emerged as leaders in terms of ticket requests’ process."
"We never placed bets on the possible tempo of ticket requests," Sorokin said. "This is what we roughly expected, but the present-day tempo (of ticket requests) exceeded my personal expectations."
Asked whether he felt disappointment about the US national team’s failure to qualify for the tournament, since many American football fans could have come to Russia, Sorokin said "We can afford neither negative nor positive emotions about the qualifying results of any national team.
"We (the organizers) are here to treat equally all teams in terms of services and comfortability," Sorokin added.
The world’s governing football body also reported in its statement 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.
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.
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.
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 in the play-off round.
The teams, which already 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.