The football frenzy fans in India are all set to witness the first ever FIFA tournament in the country. The fans are slowly grabbing whatever tickets are on offer. The buying trends are expected to break attendance records for the event.
Fifa, the governing body for world football, and the tournament organisers are in the third phase of ticket sales and the response, so far, has been encouraging.
The kick-off takes place on 6th October with four matches scheduled for the opening day. While hosts will take on the might of United States in the Capital, three other matches will be played across Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi and DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
Tickets for most categories are sold out for two of India’s group games, including the opening clash. Meanwhile, the completely renovated DY Patil Stadium is also reported to have sold around 20,000 tickets. With another nine days left for the tournament to kick off a full house for the first two games is expected.
The Nehru Stadium in Kochi is also expected to be packed to capacity when Spain take on the might of former world champions Brazil on October 7. The venue had faced the threat of losing out its matches to some other centre over a dispute with shop owners, who were not ready to vacate their shops in the Stadium premises before the handover of the stadium to the organizing committee. The matter was resolved with Kerala High Court’s intervention.
The other host city known for its football culture, Kolkata is also gearing up for the upcoming world cup. With the finals and a total of 10 matches to be held in the city, the fans are much happy than ever. The finals are already sold out and the group matches and quarter final matches are also catching up fast.
Nearby Kolkata is Guwahati which also has been the most ‘passionate’ centre with a number of matches expected to be sold out.
While the sixth centre Goa did not pick up at the same pace as the other parts of the country in the first two phases of ticket sales, the third phase of ticket sales saw a huge boost.
The tournament director Javier Ceppi is also happy with response and has been sharing the tickets sales insights over his twitter handle.
— Javier Ceppi (@JavierCeppi) September 9, 2017
— Javier Ceppi (@JavierCeppi) September 22, 2017
While the fans are gearing up for ‘football to take over’, the gates of the Mumbai Football Arena in Andheri will be open for free as the two practice matches involving the Under-17 national teams of Brazil, England and New Zealand take place there.
The three teams will be playing the practice games as their final tune-up for the World Cup.
Brazil is also expected to play another practice game against a local club, either Indian Navy or Air India from Mumbai or Pune City FC on September 30, but nothing is finalised yet.
Real treat to watch Brazil train, they always throw the extra trick for the fans. Hope people from Mumbai go to Andheri to check it out https://t.co/hhtwhqNzti
— Javier Ceppi (@JavierCeppi) September 26, 2017
The fourth phase of ticket sales will be starting soon with the physical tickets to be up for grab over the counters.
A total of 24 countries are participating in this global football extravaganza.