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06.06.2006 International

Millions Scramble For World Cup Tickets

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Millions Scramble For World Cup Tickets

In spite of the high demand for tickets for Germany 2006 World Cup, organisers found it expedient to put out only a total of three million tickets, a little over the amount put on sale during the last two tournaments in Korea-Japan and France.

By January this year, 60 per cent of the tickets had been sold out and speculations were rife at the time that all the tickets were going to be exhausted in the weeks that followed.

Most of the tickets were those that had been distributed via public sales which included tickets allocated to national associations, together with packages available to those in the hospitality programme.

About 300,000 tickets which were demanded by an overwhelming 667,900 applicants who had requested 6 million tickets were subjected to lottery for lucky fans.

The rest have been sold to customers around the world through the official website, www.FIFAworld

By February 15 this year, the lucky winners had been informed. Those who placed orders through the Internet but failed to secure tickets were also notified by e-mail.

According to Mr Franz Beckenbauer, President of the Germany 2006 Organising Committee, the number of tickets available may not match the high demand and enthusiam generally generated by the event.

Locally, 72 per cent of the German population,or every four Germans, regard the upcoming event with huge enthusiasm and an increasing sense of anticipation, giving an indication that the 64 matches will witness breathtaking crowds.

Given that the German Football Association (DFB)boasts of a membership of some 6.3 million, it is safe to conclude that only few Germans will have the chance of relishing the games at the various stadia being organised by their own association.

But the organisers say they have developed what they have described as an easy to follow, fair and open ticket distributing system which was unveiled in January last year in anticipation that a ticket demand stampede would be averted.

The second sales period of tickets began in the first week of May this year with tickets allocated on 'the first -come' 'first- served basis, i.e applications were processed in the order in which they were received.

This second period is exclusively Team Specific Tickets,( TST) or tickets for the matches of some specific teams in the tournament.

These tickets like those sold in the earlier sales periods were made available on the official website, www.fifa

The first batch of the TST was sold out before the end of March last year. And these were for teams like Germany, Argentina, Brazil, England, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the USA.

The organisers anticipate these tickets would be sold by the end of November this year.

According to the Organisers, tickets in this category which have been confirmed become binding after the team in question successfully qualifies for the tournament while the reservations for teams which failed to qualify have effectively been cancelled and in this case those applicants would be reimbursed with an amount which will be less a processing fee.

The rules of the competition enjoin that team ticket holders can follow their favourite team for a specified number of matches, dependent on the results in the tournament.

TST have been divided into five categories, TST3, TST4, TST5, TST6 and TST7, with the latter representing the best case covering every game including the final.