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2018 World Cup In Russia Receives Nearly 3.5 Million Ticket Applications In Initial Period

A digital FIFA World Cup 2018 countdown clock has been placed in front of Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow. (file photo)

Applications for nearly 3.5 million tickets have been received for the 2018 World Cup soccer championships in Russia during the initial sales period, which ran September 14 to October 12.

FIFA, the ruling international soccer body, said some 70 percent of the ticket applications came from Russia itself.

Russian officials say they expect to issue 2.6 million tickets for the 64 matches at various sites throughout the country.

The majority of the foreign requests came from Germany, Brazil, and Argentina, FIFA said.

It added that many of the requests also came from the United States and China, both of which failed to qualify for the World Cup. Mexico, Egypt, and Colombia were also among the top 10.

Nine of the 32 qualifiers for the World Cup are still to be determined through regional playoffs.

FIFA said about 150,000 of the ticket applications were for the June 14 opening match, which will involve the Russian team at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium.

More than 300,000 applications were received for the July 15 final, also at the 81,000-seat Luzhniki arena.

Ticket prices start at $105 for international sales and $22 for Russians.

In cases where the number of tickets applied for exceeds seats available, tickets will be allocated through a random-draw process, FIFA said. Applicants who are allocated tickets will be notified on November 16

A second sales stage will be held following determination of the December 1 group draws.

With reporting by dpa and TASS
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