U.S. Sells Most 2018 FIFA World Cup Tickets After Russia
According to ESPN, 871,797 tickets for the Cup have been sold to fans in Russia as of the beginning of this week, and the U.S. has sold 88,825 tickets since they went on sale last September. FIFA’s website says 2.4 million tickets have thus far been sold for the 64-game event, which begins in Moscow on Thursday when Russia plays Saudi Arabia.
After Russia and the U.S., five-time World Cup champions Brazil have sold the most tickets (72,512).
The next countries on the list of most tickets bought by fans are all Latin American nations whose teams qualified for the tournament: Colombia (65,234), Mexico (60,302), Argentina (54,031) and Peru (43,583).
The U.S. failed to reach the 2018 World Cup for the first time since 1986 after being eliminated by Trinidad and Tobago in their final qualifying game.
Defending World Cup champions Germany (62,541), China (40,251) and Australia (36,359) are also in the top ten in ticket sales. Germany defeated Argentina to win the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
Among the other nations that surprisingly failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup — and that have large fan bases — are Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Chile. At last year’s Confederations Cup, 13,000 fans from Chile attended the tournament, which was also held in Russia.
Due to those four countries exclusion from the World Cup, crowd sizes are projected to perhaps be smaller this year. The World Cup will end on July 15.
On Wednesday, a vote will be held to determine whether or not FIFA will accept the U.S.’s joint bid with Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup over Morocco’s campaign to host the event. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that three letters from President Donald Trump to FIFA President Gianni Infantino could help the U.S.’s bid to co-host the tournament. Qatar is set to host the 2022 World Cup.