India seventh in tickets sold for 2022 FIFA World Cup: Report
Indians are among the leading buyers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tickets despite the national team not qualifying for the tournament in Qatar.
Of the 1.8 million tickets sold across two phases for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar, more than 23,500 were purchased by fans in India.
After the first phase of ticketing, India sat seventh in ticket sales, says an Al Jazeera report.
At the 2018 World Cup, in Russia, almost 18,000 fans in attendance were from India. Across the non-competing countries, India had the third highest number of fans in Russia, behind the United States and China.
This is nothing but a small plea from me to you. Take out a little time and give me a listen. pic.twitter.com/fcOA3qPH8i
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) June 2, 2018
India’s high demand for tickets at the World Cup goes in sharp contrast to the reality with the national team. In 2018, skipper Sunil Chhetri had to appeal to football fans to come out in numbers for the Inter-Continental Cup match against Kenya in Mumbai.
Four years later, he was once again forced to appeal to the fans to throng the Salt Lake Stadium for the Asian Cup qualifiers in Kolkata.
A YouGov survey conducted this year revealed that there are 160 million football fans in India, but the passion for the sport is not reflective of the state of Indian football.
In May, the funding for the All India Football Federation (AIFF) was slashed by 85 per cent citing poor performance of the men’s team and lack of structure in the women’s game.
In August, FIFA suspended AIFF with immediate effect due to “undue influence from third parties.” It meant the FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup was taken away from India.
Later, after Supreme Court’s intervention, AIFF conducted elections and a new board was put in place. As a result, FIFA lifted India’s suspension and host status for Women’s U-17 World Cup has been reinstated.
As for the Qatar World Cup, by mid-August, at the conclusion of the third phase of ticket sales, the number of tickets sold had moved up to 2.45 million with 5,21,000 up for grabs on a first-come, first-served basis.
Brazil’s fixtures against Serbia and Cameroon were among the most in-demand.
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The caption of the video termed Neymar “one of the greatest footballers to ever play for Brazil and in the history of the game.”