Around 700,000 fans applying for soccer World Cup tickets

FIFA has received nearly 700,000 ticket applications for the World Cup in South Africa, the Cape Argus newspaper reported on Wednesday.

These applications come from more than 170 countries. There are just two weeks until the present sales phase closes on Jan. 22.

FIFA stipulates it makes no difference whether application is submitted early or as late, as each correctly submitted application will have the same opportunity of being successful in the draw scheduled for next month.

In total, about one million tickets were made available in the third sales phase, including a limited number for the opening match and the final.

Category four tickets, the most affordable, have been exclusively set aside for South Africans. Of the 675,684 applications received, 520,960 were from South African residents.

South Africans have accounted for more than three-quarters of the total, with the United States leading the rest of the world in terms of applications.

US fans have applied for 22,942 tickets, followed by the Britain of 20,000, Mexico in 7,981, Germany in 7,697, Australia in 6,277 and Brazil in 4,760.

Fans may apply for a maximum of four tickets for each match, and for up to a maximum of seven matches.

All 32 participating member associations will be allocated 12 percent of all purchasable tickets for the stadiums at which their three group games will be played.

Soccer fans may also buy authorized travel packages through participating tour operators appointed by FIFA.