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FIFA won't sell tickets for WCup final and opener

AP - Sports
FIFA won't sell tickets for WCup final and opener
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COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) -- Tickets for the final and the opening match of the 2014 World Cup will not be available to fans when a new sales phase opens after Friday's draw in Brazil.

Soccer's governing body had been saying it would sell tickets to all 64 matches beginning Sunday, but the high-demand matches in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will be blocked off again for now.

Tickets for the two matches were among those already not available in the previous ticket sales. More than 720,000 tickets were requested for the June 12 opener at the Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo and more than 750,000 were requested for the July 13 final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio.

FIFA said Thursday that tickets for the matches may be available again in future sales phases.

Fans can apply for tickets to all other matches from Sunday until Jan. 30. A random selection draw will allocate the tickets for matches where the demands surpass the number of entrances available. FIFA says fans putting in their request on the first day the window opens will have the same chance as those applying on the last day.

It will be the first sales period after Friday's draw determines the tournament schedule. With all teams knowing who and where they will play, FIFA is expecting an increased demand from international fans. In this phase, each nation will be reserved 8 percent of tickets for the matches they will be playing.

Another sales phase will open from Feb. 26-April 1 on a first-come, first-serve basis. The ''last minute sales phase'' will be made available from April 15 until the day of the final.

About 900,000 tickets were sold in the first stage and the nearly 230,000 tickets available in the second phase were sold out just seven hours after being made available on FIFA's website.

Brazilians were entitled to discounts and have bought nearly 70 percent of the tickets so far, followed by Americans, Australians, British and Argentines. About 1.1 million tickets have been sold until now. Organizers expect to sell a total of nearly 3.3 million tickets for the tournament, the first in Brazil since 1950.

FIFA received about 6.2 million ticket applications, and each applicant could request for up to four tickets for a maximum of seven matches.

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