Soccer

This country has no World Cup team, but bought 80,000 tickets anyway

U.S. soccer fans cheer on their team during the 2014 World Cup, something Americans are unable to do in the 2018 World Cup now underway in Russia.
U.S. soccer fans cheer on their team during the 2014 World Cup, something Americans are unable to do in the 2018 World Cup now underway in Russia. Detroit Free Press

The United States will not have a team at the World Cup in Russia this summer — the first since 1986 the U.S. team didn’t qualify — but there will be plenty of American fans in the stands.

Other than host Russia, which has sold 796,875 tickets, the country with the most ticket sales so far is the United States, with 80,161 tickets purchased before the final phase of sales. Brazil is next with 65,863, followed by Colombia (60,199), Germany (55,136), Mexico (51,736), Argentina (44,882), Peru (38,544), Australia (34,628), and England (30,711).

Although the U.S. number is less than half the 200,000 sold for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, it is still a formidable fan presence considering the distance and geopolitical issues between the nations.

The World Cup kicks off June 14 and the Final is July 15. Nearly 1.7 million tickets have already been allocated through the official website at FIFA.com/tickets since tickets went on sale in September 2017. The “Last-Minute Phase” of ticket sales opened on April 18 and runs through the end of the tournament on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Fans are advised to keep checking the website, even if the desired match appears to be sold out.

“Due to the possibility of tickets being resold through FIFA.com/tickets and the possible release of ticket inventories reserved for selected FIFA constituent groups, tickets for specific matches, which at some point could be unavailable, may possibly become available again,” it says on the FIFA website.

FAN ID REQUIRED

In addition to having a valid ticket, all fans attending matches will be required to apply for a FAN ID, the official identity document that will be needed for entry to the stadiums. The FAN ID also gives fans additional perks, such as visa-free entry to Russia, some free inter-city travel and free use of public transport on match days. It allows visitors to stay in the country from 10 days before the first match to 10 days after the last match. For information, go to www.fan-id.ru

VISA is an event sponsor and the preferred method for purchasing official tickets. FIFA.com also states that they will accept bank transfers and other accepted payment cards. For more ticket information, visit www.fifa.com/tickets.

TRAVEL TO RUSSIA

For fans planning to travel to Russia next summer, Miami-based VIP Global Sports is offering customized travel and ticket packages. VIP Global Sports, owned by IATAN-licensed and insured agent Antonio Paz, has 30 years of World Cup travel experience dating to the 1986 Mexico tournament.

Package/Itinerary types include: Follow Your Favorite Team, First and Second Round Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Semifinals and Final, and Customized request.

The packages include itinerary planning for groups and individuals, hotel accommodations, game tickets, international airline ticketing, concierge and ground service logistics, and Russian Tourist Visas.

For information, call Toll Free: (877) 667-5338, e-mail: Info@VIPGlobalSports.com Website: www.VIPGlobalSports.com

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