FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Group B – Germany v China – Roazhon Park, Rennes, France – June 8, 2019 General view of fans sat in a tier below an empty tier of seating during the match REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo
(Reuters) – World soccer governing body FIFA said on Tuesday that they have allocated a million tickets for the ongoing women’s World Cup in France but only 14 of the 52 matches are sold out, countering claims that tickets were selling fast.
The organizers tweeted here last month that tickets were still available “for a few matches” and British media reported FIFA president Gianni Infantino had said before the tournament kicked off that 20 matches were sold out.
“Four days after the FIFA women’s World Cup kicked off… the tournament has reached an important milestone with over one million tickets having now been allocated to fans worldwide,” FIFA said in a statement.
“14 out of the 52 matches are now sold out with currently no more inventory available, including the opening match played in Paris on Friday as well as several matches taking place later in the competition.”
FIFA said 10 group games involving the top teams, including the next two matches for France and defending champions United States, have been sold out as are one quarter-final in Paris plus the two semi-finals and final in Lyon.
So far, France’s opening win over South Korea, Brazil’s victory over Jamaica and the United States’ 13-0 rout of Thailand have had near-capacity crowds but swathes of empty seats were visible at other games around the country.
The BBC reported England’s 2-1 win over Scotland in Nice was attended by only 13,188 supporters — 37% of the Stade de Nice’s 35,100 capacity.
Last month FIFA faced a backlash on social media after fans who bought multiple tickets for World Cup matches discovered that their seats were not together.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge