World Cup fever has settled on Brazil, with nearly three million tickets sold for the 2014 tournament.
Huge global excitement is reflected by the unprecedented number of ticket requests, with more than 11 million received to date.
To date, a total of 2,961,911 tickets have been sold, including more than 2.2 million directly via FIFA.com to the general public.
“For every fan, it is a dream to be able to experience live a FIFA World Cup in the country of the only five-time world champions – never before have we sold so many tickets directly to the general public, and this was important to us.
“The opening match and the final were even oversubscribed ten times.
“The long queues of people who turned up at the ticketing centres early yesterday morning to buy World Cup tickets shows the high level of interest that Brazilians and international fans have in the 2014 FIFA World Cup,” said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke.
Overall, 60 per cent of the tickets were bought by Brazilians and 40 per cent by fans from the rest of the world.
After hosts Brazil (1,363,179), the USA leads the international pack with 196,838 tickets, followed by Argentina (61,021), Germany (58,778), England (57,917), Colombia (54,477), Australia (52,289), Chile (38,638), France (34,865) and Mexico (33,694).
There are a few tickets left for just 27 of the 64 matches: the opening match, semi-finals and final are sold out.
However, fans still on the lookout for tickets should keep checking the website, as potential resales or unpaid purchases mean that some tickets may go back on offer to the general public.
FIFA is bearing the entire operational costs for staging the 2014 FIFA World Cup amounting about USD two billion, with half of this figure being directly invested in the Brazilian economy through the hiring of local services.
This latter figure covers the entire Local Organising Committee budget, team travel and lodging, TV production costs, ticketing operations, accommodation, the IT solution and the overall competitions management, i.e. the entire organisation of the matches, plus refereeing and the marketing operations.